Environmental Characteristics and Physical Activity in Racial/Ethnic Minority and Euro-American College Students

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Perceptual and Motor Skills


Little is known about the relations of environmental characteristics and physical activity of college students, especially students from diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds. Associations were examined between environmental characteristics and moderate and vigorous activity in racial or ethnic minority (n = 418; M age = 24.3 +/- 4.5 yr.; 54.2% women) and Euro-American (n = 297; M age = 23.5 +/- 4.4 yr.; 49.7% women) college students. Participants completed questionnaires assessing demographic measures, physical activity, exercise equipment at home, neighborhood characteristics, and convenient places for physical activity. Moderate and vigorous activity participation was similar between the two groups even though racial or ethnic minorities had less supportive home and neighborhood environments for activity and fewer convenient facilities. Greater moderate and vigorous activity were related with more convenient facilities in racial or ethnic minorities. Vigorous activity was associated with better neighborhood characteristics for Euro-Americans. The findings can inform the design and implementation of environmental approaches to promoting activity of college students from diverse ethnic backgrounds.



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