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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2013, Article ID 239595, 7 pages
Research Article

Association between Physical Activity and Neighborhood Environment among Middle-Aged Adults in Shanghai

1MOE Key Lab for Public Health and Safety, School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China
2Department of Human Ecology, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
3Research Institute of Humanity and Nature, Kyoto 603-8047, Japan
4Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK

Received 7 February 2013; Accepted 24 February 2013

Academic Editor: Chris Rissel

Copyright © 2013 Rena Zhou 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.


Objective. To determine the perceived neighborhood environment (NE) variables that are associated with physical activity (PA) in urban areas in China. Methods. Parents of students at two junior high schools in Shanghai, one downtown and the other in the suburbs, were recruited to participate in the study. They completed an International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale-Abbreviated (NEWS-A) survey. Participant physical activity was also objectively measured using accelerometers. Results. Participants from downtown areas were more positively associated with transportation PA and leisure-time PA than respondents living in the suburbs. Residential density was found to be a significant positive predictor of recreational or leisure-based PA. Street connectivity was negatively associated with leisure time PA for respondents. Moderate-vigorous PA was found to be negatively associated with traffic safety. There were no significant associations between environmental factors and transportation PA. Women had higher levels of moderate-vigorous PA than men. Conclusions. The results of this study demonstrate that residential density, street connectivity, and traffic safety have a significant impact on Chinese middle-aged adults' PA, suggesting urban planning strategies for promoting positive public health outcomes.