Differences in Active Commuting Among Younger and Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The demonstrated health benefits of active commuting (AC) and low participation rates among older adults indicate a need to examine the socioecological correlates of AC by age category. An online survey of employed U.S. adults examined AC participation and individual, employment-related, community, and environmental variables. Participants were dichotomized by age (younger: 18–49 yr; n = 638, 64% and older: ≥50 yr; n = 359, 36%). Logistic-regression analyses examined differences in AC correlates by age. Older adults were less likely to be active commuters (13.4%) than younger adults (27.9%; p < .001) For older adults, analyses yielded a Nagelkerke R2 = .76, with perceived behavioral control, behavioral beliefs, household cars, and walking distance as predictors. Analyses for younger adults resulted in a Nagelkerke R2 = .79, with perceived behavioral control, coworker normative beliefs, parking problems at work, greater employer and community support for AC, and bad weather as predictors. Findings suggest age should be considered when examining and targeting AC behaviors.

Bopp and Campbell are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. DerAnanian is with the Exercise and Wellness Program, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ.