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Open AccessArticle

Pollution, Health, and the Moderating Role of Physical Activity Opportunities

1
Center for Sport Management Research and Education, Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4243, USA
2
Department of Sports Science, Bielefeld University, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6272; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176272
Received: 9 August 2020 / Revised: 21 August 2020 / Accepted: 25 August 2020 / Published: 28 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Exercise and Health)
Air and water pollution have detrimental effects on health, while physical activity opportunities have a positive relationship. The purpose of this study was to explore whether physical activity opportunities moderate the relationships among air and water pollution, and measures of health. Aggregate data were collected at the county level in the United States (n = 3104). Variables included the mean daily density of fine particle matter (air pollution), reported cases of health-related drinking water violations (water pollution), subjective ratings of poor or fair health (overall health), the number of physically and mentally unhealthy (physical and mental health, respectively), and the percentage of people living in close proximity to a park or recreation facility (access to physical activity). Air and water pollution have a significant positive effect on all measures of residents’ poor health, while physical activity opportunities only have a negative effect on overall health and physical health. Access to physical activity only moderates the relationship between air pollution and all health outcomes. Since physical activity behavior can be more rapidly changed than some causes of pollution, providing the resident population with better access to physical activity can represent an effective tool in environmental health policy. View Full-Text
Keywords: Air pollution; water pollution; access to physical activity; mental health; physical health Air pollution; water pollution; access to physical activity; mental health; physical health
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Cunningham, G.B.; Wicker, P.; McCullough, B.P. Pollution, Health, and the Moderating Role of Physical Activity Opportunities. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6272.

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