OBJECTIVE: To investigate the influence of social capital and individual
factors on the level of leisure time physical inactivity in the neighbourhoods.
METHODS: The public health survey in Malmö 1994 is a cross sectional
study. A total of 5600 people aged 20-80 years were invited to answer
a postal questionnaire. The participation rate was 71%. A multilevel
logistic regression model, with individuals at the first level and
neighbourhoods at the second, was performed. The effect (intra-area
correlation, cross level modification, and odds ratios) was analysed
of individual and neighbourhood (the 1993 migration out of an area
as a proxy for social capital) factors on leisure time physical inactivity
after adjustment for individual factors. RESULTS: Neighbourhood factors
accounted for 5.0% of the crude total variance in physical inactivity.
This effect was significantly reduced when the individual factors,
especially country of origin, education, and social participation,
were included in the model. In contrast, it was not reduced by the
introduction of the contextual social capital variable. CONCLUSION:
This study suggests that in the neighbourhoods of Malmö leisure time
physical inactivity is mainly affected by individual factors.
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