Psychosocial correlates of leisure-time physical activity in urban working-class adults

Pamela J. Surkan, Louise M. Ryan, Harvey W. Bidwell, Daniel R. Brooks, Karen E. Peterson, Matthew W. Gillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Limited data address psychosocial and environmental correlates of physical activity. Methods: We assessed associations of regular and recent leisure-time physical activity with physical/mental well-being, social support, and civic trust and reciprocity in a working-class Boston neighborhood. We surveyed 409 adults in 1999 to 2000 using methodology from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Results: Adjusted for demographic variables, correlates of regular physical activity included feeling energetic/healthy (odds ratio [OR] = 1.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3 to 2.3 for each one of four categories), feeling worried/tense/anxious (OR = 0.7, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.0), pain interfering with usual activities (OR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3 to 0.8), feeling sad/blue/depressed (OR = 0.7, 95% CI, 0.5 to 0.9), inadequate sleep/rest (OR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.6 to 1.0) and feeling satisfied with life (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.6, for very satisfied versus other). We found similar associations for participation in any physical activity. Conclusions: Lack of energy, anxiety, pain, sadness, poor sleep, and dissatisfaction with life were associated with low physical activity levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-411
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Community
  • Exercise
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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