141st APHA Annual Meeting

In This section

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

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

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 Walkscore.com 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

Keywords: 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.