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Hannah M. Badland and Grant M. Schofield

Background:

Leisure time physical activities have been a priority in recent years for many health practitioners, with transport-related physical activity (TPA) largely ignored. The urban environment has altered in the last few decades, increasing the reliance on automobiles. Simultaneously we have seen increases in obesity and other non-communicable diseases related to sedentary lifestyles.

Methods:

Information was sourced from major health databases. The remainder of the literature was directed from citations in articles accessed from the initial search.

Results:

Clear health benefits result from regular TPA engagement, with opportunities closely linked to accessible urban design infrastructure. Much of the existing evidence, however, has been extracted from cross-sectional research, rather than interventions. As such, drawing causal relationships is not yet possible.

Conclusions:

Existing evidence necessitates TPA research and promotion should be public health and urban design priorities. Collaborative research needs to incorporate prospective study designs to understand TPA behavior.

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Hannah M. Badland, Grant M. Schofield and Philip J. Schluter

Background:

Little is known about the relationships between objectively measured commute distance with actual and perceived transport-related physical activity (TPA) engagement.

Methods:

A telephone survey assessed travel behaviors to place of work/study within an adult sample (n = 772) residing in New Zealand.

Results:

Overall, 50% of respondents perceived they could, and 10% of the sample actually did, use TPA modes to commute to their occupation for distances less than 5 km. Differences between TPA perceptions and engagement existed for all distance classifications, and prevalence declined as distances increased.

Conclusions:

Differences between TPA engagement and perceptions were evident. Actual and perceived TPA engagement levels declined as commute distance increased.

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Mitch J. Duncan, Hannah M. Badland and William Kerry Mummery

Background:

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between occupational category and 3 health-related behaviors: participation in leisure-time physical activity, active transport (AT) and occupational sitting in a sample of employed Australian adults.

Methods:

A random, cross-sectional sample of 592 adults aged 18 to 71 years completed a telephone survey in October/November 2006. Reported occupations were categorized as professional (n = 332, 56.1%), white-collar (n = 181, 30.6%), and blue-collar (n = 79, 13.3%). Relationships between occupational category and AT, sufficient physical activity and occupational sitting were examined using logistic regression.

Results:

White-collar employees (OR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.14−0.95) were less likely to engage in AT and more likely to engage in occupational sitting (OR = 3.10, 95% CI 1.63−5.92) when compared with blue-collar workers. Professionals (OR = 3.04, 95% CI 1.94−4.76) were also more likely to engage in occupational sitting compared with blue-collar workers. No relationship was observed between occupational category and engagement in sufficient physical activity.

Conclusions:

No association between occupational category and sufficient physical activity levels was observed, although white-collar and professionals were likely to engage in high levels of occupational sitting. Innovative and sustainable strategies are required to reduce occupational sitting to improve health.

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Hannah M. Badland, Rosanna Keam, Karen Witten and Robin Kearns

Background:

Public open spaces (POS) are recognized as important to promote physical activity engagement. However, it is unclear how POS attributes, such as activities available, environmental quality, amenities present, and safety, are associated with neighborhood-level walkability and deprivation.

Methods:

Twelve neighborhoods were selected within 1 constituent city of Auckland, New Zealand based on higher (n = 6) or lower (n = 6) walkability characteristics. Neighborhoods were dichotomized as more (n = 7) or less (n = 5) socioeconomically deprived. POS (n = 69) were identified within these neighborhoods and audited using the New Zealand-Public Open Space Tool. Unpaired 1-way analysis of variance tests were applied to compare differences in attributes and overall score of POS by neighborhood walkability and deprivation.

Results:

POS located in more walkable neighborhoods have significantly higher overall scores when compared with less walkable neighborhoods. Deprivation comparisons identified POS located in less deprived communities have better quality environments, but fewer activities and safety features present when compared with more deprived neighborhoods.

Conclusions:

A positive relationship existed between presence of POS attributes and neighborhood walkability, but the relationship between POS and neighborhood-level deprivation was less clear. Variation in neighborhood POS quality alone is unlikely to explain poorer health outcomes for residents in more deprived areas.

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Jerome N. Rachele, Vincent Learnihan, Hannah M. Badland, Suzanne Mavoa, Gavin Turrell and Billie Giles-Corti

Background: There is growing urgency for higher quality evidence to inform policy. This study developed geographic information system spatial measures based on land use and transport policies currently used in selected Australian states to assess which, if any, of these measures were associated with walking for transport. Methods: Overall, 6901 participants from 570 neighborhoods in Brisbane, Australia, were included. Participants reported their minutes of walking for transport in the previous week. After a review of state-level land use and transport policies relevant to walking for transport across Australia, 7 geographic information system measures were developed and tested based on 9 relevant policies. Data were analyzed using multilevel multinomial logistic regression. Results: Greater levels of walking for transport were associated with more highly connected street networks, the presence of public transport stops, and having at least 2 public transport services per hour. Conversely, neighborhoods with shorter cul-de-sac lengths had lower levels of walking for transport. There was no evidence of associations between walking for transport and street block lengths less than 240 m or traffic volumes. Conclusions: These findings highlight the need for urban design and transport policies developed by governments to be assessed for their impact on transport-related physical activity.

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Melody Oliver, Karl Parker, Karen Witten, Suzanne Mavoa, Hannah M. Badland, Phil Donovan, Moushumi Chaudhury and Robin Kearns

Background:

The study aim was to determine the association between children’s objectively assessed moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and active trips (AT) and independently mobile trips (IM) during out-of-school hours.

Methods:

Children aged 9 to 13 years (n = 254) were recruited from 9 schools in Auckland, New Zealand between 2011 and 2012. Children completed travel diaries and wore accelerometers for 7 days. Parents provided demographic information. Geographic information systems-derived distance to school was calculated. Accelerometer data were extracted for out of school hours only. Percentage of time spent in MVPA (%MVPA), AT, and IM were calculated. Generalized estimating equations were used to determine the relationship between daily %MVPA and AT and between daily %MVPA and IM, accounting for age, sex, ethnicity, distance to school, day of the week, and numeric day of data collection.

Results:

A significant positive relationship was observed between %MVPA and both AT and IM. For every unit increase in the daily percentage of trips made that were AT or IM, we found an average increase of 1.28% (95% CI 0.87%, 1.70%) and 1.15% (95% CI 0.71%, 1.59%) time in MVPA, respectively.

Conclusion:

Children’s AT and IM are associated with increased MVPA during out-of-school hours.