Associations Between the Perceived Environment and Physical Activity Among Adults Aged 55–65 Years: Does Urban-Rural Area of Residence Matter?

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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This study aimed to determine whether associations between the perceived environment and physical activity are moderated by urban-rural status among midolder aged adults. Environmental (safety, aesthetics, physical activity environment) and physical activity (total, leisure, transport) data from 3,888 adults (55 to 65 years) from urban and rural areas of Victoria, Australia, were analyzed. Multinomial logistic regression examined interactions between urban-rural status and environments in associations with physical activity. Significant (P < .05) interactions were evident and indicated positive associations only among older rural adults for both safety and aesthetics with total and transport physical activity (e.g., rural adults reporting higher safety were 91% to 118% more likely to have higher activity than rural adults reporting low safety). In contrast, the physical activity environment was positively associated with leisure activity among only urban adults. Findings suggest that some tailoring of physical activity promotion strategies targeting the environment may be required for urban and rural midolder aged adults.

Cleland and Otahal are with Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, University of Tasmania, Australia. Sodergren is with the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, Australia, and the Centre for Family Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden. Timperio, Ball, Crawford, Salmon, and McNaughton are with the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, Australia. Address author correspondence to Verity Cleland at