172785 Age differences in the relation of perceived neighborhood environment to walking

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 10:30 AM

Ryosuke Shigematsu, PhD , Faculty of Education, Mie University, Tsu, Japan
James F. Sallis, PhD , Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Abby C. King, PhD , Departments of Health Research & Policy and Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Terry L. Conway, PhD , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Brian E. Saelens, PhD , Seattle Children's, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Lawrence D. Frank, PhD , School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Kelli Cain, MA , Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
James Chapman, MSCE , Lawrence Frank and Company, Inc, Rochester, NY
Strength of the relation of built environment factors to physical activity may differ by age group. The present study examined age–related differences in associations between neighborhood built environment and physical activity. Participants were 1623 adults aged 20 to 97 years, divided into 5 groups: ages 20-39, 40-49, 50-65, 66-75, and 76+, recruited from neighborhoods that varied in land use and median income. They completed questionnaires about neighborhood environment attributes and walking for transportation and leisure purposes. Neighborhood environment, within a 15–20 minute walk from home, was measured with 9 attributes with the validated NEWS: residential density; proximity to nonresidential land uses; ease of access to nonresidential uses; street connectivity; walking/cycling facilities; aesthetics; pedestrian traffic safety; crime safety; proximity to recreation facilities. Participants reported frequency and duration of walking using the validated IPAQ and CHAMPS. Partial correlations were computed, adjusting for demographics. Walking for transportation was highly related to neighborhood attributes in all age groups, although walking for leisure was not. Walking behavior was significantly (P < 0.05) related to almost all neighborhood environment variables in the youngest age group. By contrast, only two environmental attributes, proximity to nonresidential uses and proximity to recreation facilities, were moderately correlated with walking for transportation in the two oldest groups. In conclusion, communities need to be designed with many favorable environmental attributes to support walking for transportation among younger adults, but having nonresidential destinations (like shops) and recreation facilities within walking distance appear to be the most important attributes for older adults.

Learning Objectives:
Attendees at this presentation should be able to: 1. Identify at least 5 neighborhood environment attributes believed to be related to physical activity. 2. Summarize differences in environmental correlates of walking for transportation among younger adults and older adults. 3. Name the two environmental variables significantly related to walking for transportation among older adults.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I did statistical analyses, wrote the abstract, and discussed about the study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.