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Inducing healthy exercise

A good feeling about the neighbourhood is likely to encourage residents to get enough exercise.

health and fitness Updated: Dec 09, 2003 22:35 IST

According to a report in the December issue of Health Education and Behaviour, a good feeling about the neighbourhood is likely to encourage residents to get enough exercise.

Researchers from Saint Louis University, U.S. used a scale designed to measure favorable neighborhood attributes and found that people with a higher regard for their community were more likely to get the recommended amount of weekly physical activity.

However, further analysis suggests that the association between good neighborhoods and physical activity may hold true only for white people and those living at certain income levels, says Laura K. Brennan and colleagues.

Researchers have found that the link between neighborhood perception and exercise is particularly significant among those making between 10,000 dollars and 20,000 dollars and those making more than 35,000 dollars a year.

Age was the only significant factor related to physical activity among black study participants, with younger participants more likely to meet exercise recommendations.

Brennan and colleagues analyzed data from a phone survey of 1,818 people in the United States. Survey participants answered questions about their general health, levels of physical activity and how they felt about certain aspects of their community.

About one-fifth of the participants said they were in fair or poor health and just under half failed to meet the national recommendations for weekly exercise. It has been noted by researchers that almost 250,000 of the total number of deaths in the United States each year can be attributed to physical inactivity.

The study was supported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Community Prevention Study of the National Institute of Health.

First Published: Dec 09, 2003 22:35 IST