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Perceived and Objective Measures of Neighborhood Environment for Physical Activity Among Mexican Adults, 2011
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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Environmental supports for physical activity may help residents to be physically active. However, such supports might not help if residents’ perceptions of the built environment do not correspond with objective measures. We assessed the associations between objective and perceived measures of the built environment among adults in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and examined whether certain variables modified this relationship.


    We conducted a population-based (n = 645) study in 2011 that used objective (based on geographic information systems) and perceived (by questionnaire) measures of the following features of the built environment: residential density, mixed-land use, intersection density, and proximity to parks and transit stops. We used linear regression to assess the adjusted associations between these measures and to identify variables modifying these relationships.


    Adjusted associations were significant for all features (P < .05) except intersection density and proximity to transit stops. Significantly stronger associations between perceived and objective measures were observed among participants with low socioeconomic status, participants who did not own a motor vehicle or did not meet physical activity recommendations, and participants perceiving parks as safe.


    Perceived measures of residential density, mixed-land use, and proximity to parks are associated with objective environmental measures related to physical activity. However, in Mexico, it should not be assumed that perceived measures of intersection density and proximity to transit stops are the same as objective measures. Our results are consistent with those from high-income countries in that associations between perceived and objective measures are modified by individual sociodemographic and psychosocial factors.

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