Objective: To evaluate ecological model predictions of cross-level interactions among psychosocial and environmental correlates of physical activity in 719 community-dwelling older adults in the Baltimore, Maryland and Seattle, Washington areas during 2005-2008.
Method: Walkability, access to parks and recreation facilities and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) minutes per week (min/week) were measured objectively. Neighborhood aesthetics, walking facilities, social support, self-efficacy, barriers and transportation and leisure walking min/week were self-reported.
Results: Walkability interacted with social support in explaining total MVPA (B=13.71) and with social support (B=7.90), self-efficacy (B=7.66) and barriers (B=-8.26) in explaining walking for transportation. Aesthetics interacted with barriers in explaining total MVPA (B=-12.20) and walking facilities interacted with self-efficacy in explaining walking for leisure (B=-10.88; Ps<.05). Summarizing across the interactions, living in a supportive environment (vs. unsupportive) was related to 30-59 more min/week of physical activity for participants with more positive psychosocial attributes, but only 0-28 more min/week for participants with less positive psychosocial attributes.
Conclusion: Results supported synergistic interactions between built environment and psychosocial factors in explaining physical activity among older adults. Findings suggest multilevel interventions may be most effective in increasing physical activity.
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