One size doesn’t fit all: cross-sectional associations between neighborhood walkability, crime and physical activity depends on age and sex of residents

Low-income African American adults are disproportionately affected by obesity and are also least likely to engage in recommended levels of physical activity (Flegal et al. JAMA 303(3):235-41, 2010; Tucker et al. Am J Prev Med 40(4):454-61, 2011). Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is an important factor for weight management and control, as well as for reducing disease risk (Andersen et al. Lancet 368(9532):299-304, 2006; Boreham and Riddoch J Sports Sci 19(12):915-29, 2001; Carson et al. PLoS One 8(8):e71417, 2013). While neighborhood greenspace and walkability have been associated with increased MVPA, evidence also suggests that living in areas with high rates of crime limits MVPA. Few studies have examined to what extent the confluence of neighborhood greenspace, walkability and crime might impact MVPA in low-income African American adults nor how associations may vary by age and sex.