A multilevel examination of factors of the school environment and time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity among a sample of secondary school students in grades 9–12 in Ontario, Canada
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OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between students' time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and the school built environment while also considering features of the schools' social environment and student-level characteristics. METHODS: Using surveys and GIS measures, multilevel linear regression analysis was applied to examine the environment- and student-level characteristics associated with time spent in MVPA among grade 9-12 students (n = 22,117) attending 76 secondary schools in Ontario, Canada as part of the SHAPES-Ontario study. RESULTS: Statistically significant between-school random variation in student MVPA was identified [[Formula: see text] = 9,065.22 (250.64)]; school-level differences accounted for 3.0% of the variability in student MVPA. Students attending a school that offered daily physical education or provided an alternate room for physical activity spent more time in MVPA than students attending a school without these resources. Moreover, as land-use mix diversity and walkability of the school neighbourhood increased, students' time spent in MVPA decreased. CONCLUSION: Developing a better understanding of the environment- and student-level characteristics associated with students' time spent in MVPA is critical for informing school-based physical activity intervention programmes and policies.
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