Development of a dynamic framework to explain population patterns of leisure-time physical activity through agent-based modeling

Leandro M. T. Garcia, Ana V. Diez Roux, André C. R. Martins, Yong Yang, Alex A. Florindo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the increasing body of evidences on the factors influencing leisure-time physical activity, our understanding of the mechanisms and interactions that lead to the formation and evolution of population patterns is still limited. Moreover, most frameworks in this field fail to capture dynamic processes. Our aim was to create a dynamic conceptual model depicting the interaction between key psychological attributes of individuals and main aspects of the built and social environments in which they live. This conceptual model will inform and support the development of an agent-based model aimed to explore how population patterns of LTPA in adults may emerge from the dynamic interplay between psychological traits and built and social environments. We integrated existing theories and models as well as available empirical data (both from literature reviews), and expert opinions (based on a systematic expert assessment of an intermediary version of the model). The model explicitly presents intention as the proximal determinant of leisure-time physical activity, a relationship dynamically moderated by the built environment (access, quality, and available activities) – with the strength of the moderation varying as a function of the person’s intention– and influenced both by the social environment (proximal network’s and community’s behavior) and the person’s behavior. Our conceptual model is well supported by evidence and experts’ opinions and will inform the design of our agent-based model, as well as data collection and analysis of future investigations on population patterns of leisure-time physical activity among adults.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


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