Online Program

Using GPS to examine active transportation patterns among people aging with mobility disabilities

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Dori Rosenberg, PhD, MPH, Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA
Nancy Gell, PhD MPH, Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA
Jordan Carlson, PhD, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA
Jacqueline Kerr, PhD, Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Basia Belza, PhD, RN, FAAN, Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Introduction: We used data from Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to describe active transportation (AT) and recreational walking (RW; i.e. in a park) trips among older adults with mobility disabilities (i.e. that use assistive devices). Little is known about these patterns in this growing segment of the population.

Methods: Participants (N = 35; Mean age = 67, 30 white, 26 females) wore a Qstarz BT1000XT GPS device for 3 days. Data were processed and analyzed using the Physical Activity Location Measurement System (PALMS; UCSD) and Global Information Systems (GIS) from which we classified trips as vehicle, AT or RW. We compared values (based on their home address as a proxy for built environment walkability) for those using vehicle trips to those with an active trip (AT or WFR) from their home.

Results: Among participants with usable GPS data (N = 28), 25% (N = 7) used AT and another 21% (N = 6) did RW. Of AT and RW trips, 39% used a vehicle to get to a destination where they then made their active trip. Participants whose active trip was from home had higher walkscores (mean = 82) than those who did not (mean = 66; p = .05).

Conclusions: People with mobility disabilities are able to use active modes of transportation, particularly when the built environment is supportive. It was fairly common to use a non-home neighborhood environment for an active transit trip or walk though the majority used their local neighborhood near home to make active trips.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe patterns of active transportation among older adults with mobility disabilities

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been doing physical activity and built environment research among older adults for over 7 years. I received pilot funding to conduct the study described in this abstract where we conducted in-depth interviews with adults over age 50 with mobility disabilities.
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.