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Am J Public Health. 2010 Apr;100(4):654-60. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.172031. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

Physical activity resources and changes in walking in a cohort of older men.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA 19102-1192, USA.



We evaluated the influence of physical activity resources and neighborhood-level socioeconomic status (SES) on walking among community-dwelling older men.


Participants reported time walked per day at baseline (2000-2002) and follow-up. Residential addresses were linked to a geographic information system database to assess proximity to parks, trails, and recreational facilities. Log-binomial regression analyses were conducted to test the hypothesis that men living near physical activity resources were more likely to increase or maintain time walked.


Average time walked per day declined by 6 minutes between baseline and follow-up (P < .05). There was a significant interaction of neighborhood SES and physical activity with walking time (P < .1). Proximity to parks and proximity to trails, respectively, were associated with a 22% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01, 1.47) and 34% (95% CI = 1.16, 1.55) higher likelihood of maintaining or increasing walking time in high-SES neighborhoods, but there was no association in low-SES neighborhoods. Proximity to recreational facilities was not associated with walking.


Uncovering reasons that proximity to parks and trails is not associated with maintenance of walking activity among men in low-SES neighborhoods could provide new insight into ways to promote physical activity.

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