Neighborhood Urban Design and Outdoor Later Life: An Objective Assessment of Out-of-Home Time and Physical Activity Among Older Adults in Barcelona

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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This study explores how older adults’ time out-of-home and physical activity (PA) are associated with the provision of urban open spaces (green spaces, plazas, and boulevards) and microelements (street trees and benches) in their neighborhoods. The authors used data from 103 residents in Barcelona and matched it to official geospatial data. The authors adjusted a set of mixed-effects linear regressions, both for the entire sample and also stratified by age and gender. For the entire sample, the percentage of green spaces showed a positive association with neighborhood time out-of-home and PA, while participants’ PA also showed a positive association with the presence of benches. Outdoor time among older women was not associated with any of the measured exposures. For men, the provision of green spaces and benches was positively associated with time out-of-home and PA. These results could inform the design of urban spaces that aim to encourage outdoor activity among older adults.

Akinci, Vich, and Miralles-Guasch are with the Grup d’Estudis en Mobilitat, Transport i Territori (GEMOTT), Departament de Geografia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. Delclòs-Alió is with the Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA. Vich is also with the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal, Barcelona, Spain. Miralles-Guasch is also with the Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Akinci (zeynepsila.akinci@uab.cat) is corresponding author.
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