Poverty Area Residence and Changes in Physical Activity Level: Evidence From the Alameda County Study

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Evidence from the Alameda County Study indicated that residential area has an independent effect on mortality risk. The current research examined the effect of poverty area residence on change in physical activity (n = 1737).


Data were from a longitudinal population-based cohort. Multiple linear regression analyses were used.


Age- and sex-adjusted change scores between 1965 and 1974 for physical activity were 0.67 units lower for people living in poverty areas (P = .0001). Independent of individual income, education, smoking status, body mass index, and alcohol consumption, poverty area residence remained associated with physical activity change.


These results further support the hypothesis that place affects health behaviors. (Am J Public Health. 1998;88:1709-1712).

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