Hiroko Shimura, Elisabeth Winkler and Neville Owen
We examined associations of individual, psychosocial and environmental characteristics with 4-year changes in walking among middle-to-older aged adults; few such studies have employed prospective designs.
Walking for transport and walking for recreation were assessed during 2003–2004 (baseline) and 2007–2008 (follow-up) among 445 adults aged 50–65 years residing in Adelaide, Australia. Logistic regression analyses examined predictors of being in the highest quintile of decline in walking (21.4 minutes/day or more reduction in walking for transport; 18.6 minutes/day or more reduction in walking for recreation).
Declines in walking for transport were related to higher level of walking at baseline, low perceived benefits of activity, low family social support, a medium level of social interaction, low sense of community, and higher neighborhood walkability. Declines in walking for recreation were related to higher level of walking at baseline, low self-efficacy for activity, low family social support, and a medium level of available walking facilities.
Declines in middle-to-older aged adults’ walking for transport and walking for recreation have differing personal, psychosocial and built-environment correlates, for which particular preventive strategies may be developed. Targeted campaigns, community-based programs, and environmental and policy initiatives can be informed by these findings.
Hiroko Shimura, Takemi Sugiyama, Elisabeth Winkler and Neville Owen
Neighborhood walkability shows significant positive relationship with residents’ walking for transport in cross-sectional studies. We examined prospective relationships of neighborhood walkability with the change in walking behaviors over 4 years among middle-to-older aged adults (50–65 years) residing in Adelaide, Australia.
A baseline survey was conducted during 2003–2004, and a follow-up survey during 2007–2008. Walking for transport and walking for recreation were assessed at both times among 504 adults aged 50–65 years living in objectively determined high- and low-walkable neighborhoods. Multilevel linear regression analyses examined the associations of neighborhood walkability with changes over 4 years in walking for transport and walking for recreation.
On average, participants decreased their time spent in walking for transport (–4.1 min/day) and for recreation (–3.7 min/day) between the baseline and 4-year follow-up. However, those living in high-walkable neighborhoods showed significantly smaller reduction (adjusted mean change: –1.1 min/day) in their time spent in walking for transport than did those living in low-walkable neighborhoods (–6.7 min/day). No such statistically-significant differences were found with the changes in walking for recreation.
High-walkable neighborhoods may help middle-to-older aged adults to maintain their walking for transport.