• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jepicomhInstructions for authorsCurrent TOCJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
J Epidemiol Community Health. Nov 2004; 58(11): 924–928.
PMCID: PMC1732623

Environmental perceptions and walking in English adults

Abstract

Study objective: To examine the relation between adults' perceptions of the social and physical environment and their self reported walking behaviour.

Design: Cross sectional survey.

Setting: England.

Participants: A national sample of 4265 adults aged 16–74 years.

Main outcome measures: Self reported walking behaviour was categorised into two dichotomous variables: (a) any reported walking in past four weeks, (b) reported walking [gt-or-equal, slanted]150 minutes per week in the past four weeks. Perceptions of the social environment covered safety of walking alone and social support for walking. Perceptions of the physical environment covered attractiveness of local area for walking, access to shops, leisure centres, parks, cycle paths, and traffic density.

Main results: In women, perceived safety of walking during the day (OR = 0.53; 95% CI: 0.31 to 0.88), and no shop within walking distance (OR = 0.72; 95% CI: 0.52 to 0.99) were associated with any reported walking occasions. Perceptions of the environment were not related to women walking [gt-or-equal, slanted]150 min/week. In men, having a park within walking distance was associated with walking [gt-or-equal, slanted]150 min/week (OR = 2.22; 95% CI: 1.18 to 4.35). No other significant associations were found.

Conclusions: Women seem to be more concerned about walking for utility and in safety. Men are more likely to walk [gt-or-equal, slanted]150 min/week if they have access to a local park but their walking is not influenced by concerns about safety. Future research should focus on the relation between objective measures rather than perceptions of the environment and physical activity.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (65K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Powell KE, Thompson PD, Caspersen CJ, Kendrick JS. Physical activity and the incidence of coronary heart disease. Annu Rev Public Health. 1987;8:253–287. [PubMed]
  • Hayashi T, Tsumura K, Suematsu C, Okada K, Fujii S, Endo G. Walking to work and the risk for hypertension in men: the Osaka Health Survey. Ann Intern Med. 1999 Jul 6;131(1):21–26. [PubMed]
  • Haapanen N, Miilunpalo S, Vuori I, Oja P, Pasanen M. Association of leisure time physical activity with the risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension and diabetes in middle-aged men and women. Int J Epidemiol. 1997 Aug;26(4):739–747. [PubMed]
  • Yu S, Yarnell JWG, Sweetnam PM, Murray L. What level of physical activity protects against premature cardiovascular death? The Caerphilly study. Heart. 2003 May;89(5):502–506. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Pate RR, Pratt M, Blair SN, Haskell WL, Macera CA, Bouchard C, Buchner D, Ettinger W, Heath GW, King AC, et al. Physical activity and public health. A recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. JAMA. 1995 Feb 1;273(5):402–407. [PubMed]
  • Hillsdon M, Cavill N, Nanchahal K, Diamond A, White IR. National level promotion of physical activity: results from England's ACTIVE for LIFE campaign. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2001 Oct;55(10):755–761. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bauman Adrian E, Sallis James F, Dzewaltowski David A, Owen Neville. Toward a better understanding of the influences on physical activity: the role of determinants, correlates, causal variables, mediators, moderators, and confounders. Am J Prev Med. 2002 Aug;23(2 Suppl):5–14. [PubMed]
  • Humpel Nancy, Owen Neville, Leslie Eva. Environmental factors associated with adults' participation in physical activity: a review. Am J Prev Med. 2002 Apr;22(3):188–199. [PubMed]
  • Ball K, Bauman A, Leslie E, Owen N. Perceived environmental aesthetics and convenience and company are associated with walking for exercise among Australian adults. Prev Med. 2001 Nov;33(5):434–440. [PubMed]
  • Booth ML, Owen N, Bauman A, Clavisi O, Leslie E. Social-cognitive and perceived environment influences associated with physical activity in older Australians. Prev Med. 2000 Jul;31(1):15–22. [PubMed]
  • Carnegie MA, Bauman A, Marshall AL, Mohsin M, Westley-Wise V, Booth ML. Perceptions of the physical environment, stage of change for physical activity, and walking among Australian adults. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2002 Jun;73(2):146–155. [PubMed]
  • Hovell MF, Hofstetter CR, Sallis JF, Rauh MJ, Barrington E. Correlates of change in walking for exercise: an exploratory analysis. Res Q Exerc Sport. 1992 Dec;63(4):425–434. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...