Adolescents' perception of environmental features and its association with physical activity: Results from de Azorean Physical Activity and Health Study II
Background: The aim of the current study was to verify if physical activity (PA) behavior (steps/day) was associated with environmental features that may be able to promote PA and walking in a sample of Portuguese adolescents living in the Azorean Archipelago. Methods: The sample comprised 948 adolescents aged 15-18 years (543 girls) from the Azorean Physical Activity Health Study II. PA was objectively measured with pedometers. Participants were classified as active if they belong to percentile 75th (by age and gender) or more. Environmental perceptions were assessed with a questionnaire. Binary logistic regression analyzed relationships between PA and environmental perceptions controlling for age, body mass index, gender and socioeconomic status. Results: Regression analysis showed that participants with a positive overall perception in the transportation dimension were 44.2% (OR = 1.442, P = .025) more likely to be classified as active than those with a negative overall perception. No significant results were found for safety, aesthetics and facilities dimensions. Conclusions: A positive overall perception of the transportation dimension was positively associated with PA in Azorean Adolescents. Future health promotion strategies aimed to increase PA in this population should consider the environmental features that are associated with PA levels.