Associations Between Perceived Neighborhood Walkability and Device-Based Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Patterns in Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity

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Mikael Anne Greenwood-Hickman
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Rod Walker
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John Bellettiere
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Andrea Z. LaCroix
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Boeun Kim
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David Wing
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KatieRose Richmire
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Paul K. Crane
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Eric B. Larson
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Dori E. Rosenberg
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Neighborhood walkability has been associated with self-reported sedentary behavior (SB) and self-reported and objective physical activity. However, self-reported measures of SB are inaccurate and can lead to biased estimates, and few studies have examined how associations differ by gender and age. The authors examined the relationships between perceived neighborhood walkability measured with the Physical Activity Neighborhood Environment Scale (scored 1.0–4.0) and device-based SB and physical activity in a cohort of community-dwelling older adults (N = 1,077). The authors fit linear regression models adjusting for device wear time, demographics, self-rated health, and accounting for probability of participation. The Higher Physical Activity Neighborhood Environment Scale was associated with higher steps (+676 steps/point on the Physical Activity Neighborhood Environment Scale, p = .001) and sit-to-stand transitions (+2.4 transitions/point, p = .018). Though not statistically significant, stratified analyses suggest an attenuation of effect for those aged 85 years and older and for women. Consistent with previous literature, neighborhood walkability was associated with more steps, though not with physical activity time. The neighborhood environment may also influence SB.

Greenwood-Hickman, Walker, Richmire, Larson, and Rosenberg are with the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA, USA. Bellettiere, LaCroix, and Wing are with the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health at University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. Kim and Crane are with the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Greenwood-Hickman (Mikael.Anne.Greenwood-Hickman@kp.org) is corresponding author.
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