Associations between access to recreational physical activity facilities and body mass index in Scottish adults

Ellaway, A. , Lamb, K. E., Ferguson, N. S. and Ogilvie, D. (2016) Associations between access to recreational physical activity facilities and body mass index in Scottish adults. BMC Public Health, 16, 756. (doi:10.1186/s12889-016-3444-8) (PMID:27506767) (PMCID:PMC4979148)

117814.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Background: The aim of this country-wide study was to link individual health and behavioural data with area-level spatial data to examine whether the body mass index (BMI) of adults was associated with access to recreational physical activity (PA) facilities by different modes of transport (bus, car, walking, cycling) and the extent to which any associations were mediated by PA participation. Methods: Data on individual objectively-measured BMI, PA (number of days of (a) ≥20 min of moderate-to-vigorous PA, and (b) ≥15 min of sport or exercise, in previous 4 weeks), and socio-demographic characteristics were obtained from a nationally representative sample of 6365 adults. The number of accessible PA facilities per 1,000 individuals in each small area (data zones) was obtained by mapping a representative list of all fixed PA facilities throughout mainland Scotland. A novel transport network was developed for the whole country, and routes on foot, by bike, by car and by bus from the weighted population centroid of each data zone to each facility were calculated. Separate multilevel models were fitted to examine associations between BMI and each of the 24 measures of accessibility of PA facilities and BMI, adjusting for age, gender, longstanding illness, car availability, social class, dietary quality and urban/rural classification. Results: We found associations (p < 0.05) between BMI and 7 of the 24 accessibility measures, with mean BMI decreasing with increasing accessibility of facilities—for example, an estimated decrease of 0.015 BMI units per additional facility within a 20-min walk (p = 0.02). None of these accessibility measures were found to be associated with PA participation. Conclusions: Our national study has shown that some measures of the accessibility of PA facilities by different modes of transport (particularly by walking and cycling) were associated with BMI; but PA participation, as measured here, did not appear to play a part in this relationship. Understanding the multi-factorial environmental influences upon obesity is key to developing effective interventions to reduce it.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ellaway, Dr Anne and Lamb, Dr Karen and Ogilvie, David
Authors: Ellaway, A., Lamb, K. E., Ferguson, N. S., and Ogilvie, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:BMC Public Health
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):1471-2458
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Public Health 16:756
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727621SPHSU Core Renewal: Neighbourhoods and Communities Research ProgrammeAnne EllawayMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/10IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU