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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2009, Article ID 320372, 10 pages
Research Article

The Contribution of Home, Neighbourhood and School Environmental Factors in Explaining Physical Activity among Adolescents

1Research Foundation-Flanders, Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium
2Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium
3Department of Public Health, Ghent University, Belgium

Received 3 December 2008; Revised 15 July 2009; Accepted 11 August 2009

Academic Editor: Richard Grimes

Copyright © 2009 Leen Haerens et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study aimed at investigating the influence of home, neighbourhood and school environmental factors on adolescents' engagement in self-reported extracurricular physical activity and leisure time sports and on MVPA objectively measured by accelerometers. Environmental factors were assessed using questionnaires. Gender specific hierarchical regression analyses were conducted, with demographic variables entered in the first block, and environmental, psychosocial factors and interactions terms entered in the second block. Participation in extracurricular activities at school was positively related to the number of organized activities and the provision of supervision. Perceived accessibility of neighborhood facilities was not related to engagement in leisure time sports, whereas the availability of sedentary and physical activity equipment was. Findings were generally supportive of ecological theories stating that behaviors are influenced by personal and environmental factors that are constantly interacting.