Built environment attributes related to GPS measured active trips in mid-life and older adults with mobility disabilities
Published Date:Dec 23 2014
Source:Disabil Health J. 2014; 8(2):290-295.
Aged, 80 And Over
Geographic Information Systems
Mid-life And Older Adults
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4369178
Funding:T32 AG027677/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
T32 HL079891/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
U48 DP001911/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
Understanding factors which may promote walking in mid-life and older adults with mobility impairments is key given the association between physical activity and positive health outcomes.
To examine the relationship between active trips and objective measures of the home neighborhood built environment.
Global positioning systems (GPS) data collected on 28 adults age 50+ with mobility disabilities were analyzed for active trips from home. Objective and geographic information systems (GIS) derived measures included Walk Score, population density, street connectivity, crime rates, and slope within the home neighborhood. For this cross-sectional observational study, we conducted mean comparisons between participants who took active trips from home and those who did not for the objective measures. Effect sizes were calculated to assess the magnitude of group differences.
Nine participants (32%) took active trips from home. Walking in the home neighborhood was significantly associated with GIS derived measures (Walk Score, population density, and street density; effect sizes .9-1.2). Participants who used the home neighborhood for active trips had less slope within 1 km of home but the difference was not significant (73.5 meters±22 vs. 100.8 meters ±38.1, p=.06, d=0.8). There were no statistically significant differences in mean scores for crime rates between those with active trips from home and those without.
The findings provide preliminary evidence that more walkable environments promote active mobility among mid-life and older adults with mobility disabilities. The data suggest that this population can and does use active transportation modes when the built environment is supportive.
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