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Association between the perceived environment and physical activity among adults in Latin America: a systematic review.

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act; 10: 122, 2013 Oct 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24171897


Activity friendly environments have been identified as promising strategies to increase physical activity levels in the population. Associations between perceived environmental attributes and physical activity in Latin America may vary from those observed in high income countries. The objective of this systematic review is to identify which perceived environmental attributes are associated with physical activity in Latin America.


Systematic literature search of articles published in English, Portuguese, and Spanish in four databases was conducted (PubMed, Virtual Health Library, EBSCO, and Web of Science). Associations with environmental attributes were analyzed separately for physical activity domains. Fifteen articles were included in the analysis.


All studies had cross-sectional designs. The majority of associations were statistically non-significant, and only four associations were found in the unexpected direction. Leisure-time and transport-related physical activity were the domains most frequently included in the studies and had higher number of associations in the expected direction. Leisure-time physical activity showed a convincing association in the expected direction with safety during the day. Transport-related physical activity had a convincing association with presence of street lighting.


This study shows that perceived environmental attributes and their relationship with physical activity appears to be domain, and context specific. In addition, findings from this study show inconsistencies with the information gathered from high-income countries.