The association between objectively measured neighborhood features and walking in middle-aged adults

Wilson, Lee-Ann M., Giles-Corti, Billie, Burton, Nicola, Giskes, Katrina M., Haynes, Michele, & Turrell, Gavin (2011) The association between objectively measured neighborhood features and walking in middle-aged adults. American Journal of Health Promotion, 25(4), e12-e21.

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Purpose: To explore the role of the neighborhood environment in supporting walking

Design: Cross sectional study of 10,286 residents of 200 neighborhoods. Participants were selected using a stratified two-stage cluster design. Data were collected by mail survey (68.5% response rate).

Setting: The Brisbane City Local Government Area, Australia, 2007.

Subjects: Brisbane residents aged 40 to 65 years.

Measures Environmental: street connectivity, residential density, hilliness, tree coverage, bikeways, and street lights within a one kilometer circular buffer from each resident’s home; and network distance to nearest river or coast, public transport, shop, and park. Walking: minutes in the previous week categorized as < 30 minutes, ≥ 30 < 90 minutes, ≥ 90 < 150 minutes, ≥ 150 < 300 minutes, and ≥ 300 minutes.

Analysis: The association between each neighborhood characteristic and walking was examined using multilevel multinomial logistic regression and the model parameters were estimated using Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation.

Results: After adjustment for individual factors, the likelihood of walking for more than 300 minutes (relative to <30 minutes) was highest in areas with the most connectivity (OR=1.93, 99% CI 1.32-2.80), the greatest residential density (OR=1.47, 99% CI 1.02-2.12), the least tree coverage (OR=1.69, 99% CI 1.13-2.51), the most bikeways (OR=1.60, 99% CI 1.16-2.21), and the most street lights (OR=1.50, 99% CI 1.07-2.11). The likelihood of walking for more than 300 minutes was also higher among those who lived closest to a river or the coast (OR=2.06, 99% CI 1.41-3.02).

Conclusion: The likelihood of meeting (and exceeding) physical activity recommendations on the basis of walking was higher in neighborhoods with greater street connectivity and residential density, more street lights and bikeways, closer proximity to waterways, and less tree coverage. Interventions targeting these neighborhood characteristics may lead to improved environmental quality as well as lower rates of overweight and obesity and associated chromic disease.

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ID Code: 48996
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Walking, Environment, Neighborhood, GIS
DOI: 10.4278/ajhp.090421-QUAN-144
ISSN: 0890-1171
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 American Journal of Health Promotion
Deposited On: 06 Mar 2012 22:12
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2012 05:07

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