Objective measures of neighborhood environment and self-reported physical activity in spinal cord injured men

Academic Article


  • Objectives: To assess the relationship between objective neighborhood environment and self-reported physical activity (PA) and between PA and obesity-related risk factors in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Design: A cross-sectional study. Setting: Urban university. Participants: Men with SCI (N=131), 20 to 59 years old, at least 1 year postinjury and using wheelchair for mobility most of the time. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Metabolic syndrome (abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides, and low-high density lipoprotein cholesterol) and high C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as total PA metabolic equivalent score. Results: Lower PA was associated with higher prevalence rate for elevated triglycerides, metabolic syndrome, and high CRP. Compared with those in low PA tertile, those in high PA tertile had significantly lower odds for elevated triglycerides (odds ratio [OR]=.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], .04-80), metabolic syndrome (OR=.15; 95% CI, .03-66) and high CRP (OR=.17; 95% CI, .04-71) while adjusting for relevant factors. In crude analysis, lower PA was associated with neighborhood environmental characteristics including shorter distance to nearest transit stops, smaller mean block area, greater number of transit stops, high vacant housing, and higher neighborhood crime rate. In multivariate analysis higher total crime was the only risk factor significantly associated with lower PA level. Those living in higher crime rate neighborhoods had 86% lower odds of having greater than median PA level (OR=.14; 95% CI, .04-49) than their counterparts. Conclusions: In men with SCI, lower PA is independently associated with having elevated triglycerides, metabolic syndrome, and high CRP. Additionally, lower PA is associated with higher neighborhood crime rate. © 2008 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Liang H; Tomey K; Chen D; Savar NL; Rimmer JH; Braunschweig CL
  • Start Page

  • 1468
  • End Page

  • 1473
  • Volume

  • 89
  • Issue

  • 8