Purpose: To examine associations of neighborhood walkability and recreation environment variables with physical activity in adolescents.
Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted with 98 white or Mexican-American adolescents (mean age = 16.2 years). Physical activity was measured with 7 days of accelerometer monitoring. Height and weight were measured to compute body mass index (BMI). Environmental measures were created using geographic information systems. A neighborhood walkability index was based on land use mix, retail density, street connectivity, and residential density. Proximity to public and private recreation facilities was assessed.
Results: In a linear regression, the walkability index within 0.5 mile of homes was related to minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, explaining approximately 4% of variance. Recreation variables were not related to physical activity, and BMI was not explained by environmental variables.
Conclusion: Neighborhood walkability was related to adolescents'physical activity, similar to findings for adults.