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Exploring Socioecological Correlates of Active Living in Retirement Village Residents

Andrea Nathan, Lisa Wood, and Billie Giles-Corti

This study explored individual, social, and built environmental attributes in and outside of the retirement village setting and associations with various active living outcomes including objectively measured physical activity, specific walking behaviors, and social participation. Residents in Perth, Australia (N = 323), were surveyed on environmental perceptions of the village and surrounding neighborhood, self-reported physical activity, and demographic characteristics and wore accelerometers. Managers (N = 32) were surveyed on village characteristics, and objective neighborhood measures were generated in a Geographic Information System (GIS). Results indicated that built- and social-environmental attributes within and outside of retirement villages were associated with active living among residents; however, salient attributes varied depending on the specific outcome considered. Findings suggest that locating villages close to destinations is important for walking and that locating them close to previous and familiar neighborhoods is important for social participation. Further understanding and consideration into retirement village designs that promote both walking and social participation are needed.