Environmental Features Associated With Older Adults’ Physical Activity in Different Types of Urban Neighborhoods

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The authors studied associations of nature- and infrastructure-based features with physical activity (PA) in different urban neighborhood types; 848 community-dwelling people aged 75–90 years reported PA and three perceived nature-based destinations and seven infrastructure-based features as outdoor mobility facilitators. Neighborhood type was defined using a geographic information system based on proximity to central service areas and residential density (city center, subcenter, and dense and dispersed areas outside centers). PA was higher in dense areas and the city center. Binary logistic regression showed that perceiving nature-based destinations increased the odds for higher PA in the city center and areas outside centers. In dispersed areas, perceived infrastructure-based facilitators were especially associated with higher PA. Environmental features were not associated with PA in subcenters. Higher residential density, as a proxy for a higher amount of infrastructure, rather than center proximity, may underlie older adults’ PA. The spatial context should be acknowledged in studies on environment–PA associations.

Keskinen, Rantakokko, Suomi, Rantanen, and Portegijs are with the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland. Keskinen, Rantakokko, Rantanen, and Portegijs are also with Gerontology Research Center, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland. Rantakokko is with the School of Health and Social Studies, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland.

Keskinen (kirsi.e.keskinen@jyu.fi) is corresponding author.
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