Settings for Physical Activity – Developing a Site-specific Physical Activity Behavior Model based on Multi-level Intervention Studies Introduction: Ecological models of health behavior have potential as theoretical framework to comprehend the multiple levels of factors influencing physical activity (PA). The potential is shown by the fact that there has been a dramatic increase in application of ecological models in research and practice. One proposed core principle is that an ecological model is most powerful if the model is behavior-specific. However, based on multi-level interventions in a Danish context, it must be considered that ecological models also should be site-specific to capture local and cultural aspects related to PA. Methods: Three major multi-level intervention studies are carried out in Denmark with the objective to promote PA in 17 local communities. 1) The SPACE-study is a comprehensive intervention in 7 local school districts (N=1,348). 2) The When Cities Move Children-study is investigating the effects of urban refurbishment on adolescents’ movement patterns (N=653) and 3) The Valuable Detours for PA-project is a intervention study in 9 municipalities measuring the effect of new established outdoor facilities for PA among 12 – 85 years old citizens (N=10,434). The SPACE and the WCMC study used objective measurements of PA combined with e-surveys, the VDPA study is based on self-reported e-survey data. Results: Merging the data from the three intervention studies clarifies different local and cultural aspects with specific effect on PA behavior. This finding is closely related to the fact that the new outdoor PA facilities in the 17 local communities have different size, composition and are targeted to different subgroups with different organizational setup to support the use of the facilities. Despite the conceptual and contextual differences PA behavior is also affected by cultural and social values related to the specific site which not alone can be explained by intrapersonal, interpersonal or organizational factors. Discussion: The Ecological Model of Four Domains of Active Living specifies that factors at multiple levels can influence PA behavior, and emphasizes the importance of behavior-specific models. On this theoretical basis the three mentioned multi-level interventions were planned and implemented. Based on the empirical studies we argue that site-specific factors have to be taken into consideration. A theoretical implication of this finding is to develop a site-specific physical activity behavior model adding a layered structure to the ecological model representing the determinants related to the specific site. Support: This study was supported by TrygFonden, Realdania, and The Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities.
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International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health, 2013