The Associations Between Access to Recreational Facilities and Adherence to the American Heart Association's Physical Activity Guidelines in US Adults.

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Abstract

Physical activity decreases the risk of long-term health consequences including cardiac diseases. According to the American Health Association (AHA), adults should perform at least 75 min of vigorous physical activity (PA) or 150 min of moderate PA per week to impact long-term health. Results of previous studies are varied and have yet to integrate perceived access to facilities with AHA PA guidelines. We investigated whether access to free or low-cost recreational facilities was associated with meeting the AHA PA guidelines. Methodology: This cross-sectional study utilized data extracted from the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) database collected in 2017 (n = 1,750). The main exposure variable was access to free or low-cost recreational facilities. The main outcome variable was meeting the AHA guidelines of 150 min moderate PA or 75 min vigorous PA per week. Covariates included age, sex, level of education, overall health, BMI, ethnicity, hours of work per week, income, and time living at current address. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression analysis were used to calculate measures of odds ratio (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: Of the 1,750 included participants, 61.7% (n = 1,079) reported to have access to recreational facilities. Of those with access to facilities, 69.9% met AHA PA guidelines while 30.4% did not. After adjusting for covariates, participants who reported access to recreational facilities were 42% more likely to meet AHA PA guidelines compared with participants who did not (adjusted OR 1.42; 95% CI 1.14-1.76). Secondary results suggest that healthier individuals were more likely to have met AHA PA guidelines. Conclusions: Having access to free or low-cost recreational facilities such as parks, walking trails, bike paths and courts was associated with meeting the AHA PA guidelines. Increasing prevalence and awareness of neighborhood recreational facilities could assist in access to these facilities and increase the ability of individuals to meet AHA PA guidelines. Future research should determine which types of recreational facilities impact physical activity strongest and discover methods of increasing their awareness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2021

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