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J Aging Phys Act. 2006 Jul;14(3):302-12.

Measuring the influence of built neighborhood environments on walking in older adults.

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Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


There is a need for greater understanding of how perceptions and objective measures of the physical environment influence physical activity among seniors. The goal of this study was to examine the degree of association between perceived and objective characteristics of the neighborhood environment and the relation of each type of measurement to neighborhood walking in older adults. Data on self-reported frequency of walking in the neighborhood and perceived measures of neighborhood environment from 105 older adults were linked to objective measures assessed by geographic information systems and an audit instrument. Perceived and objective measurements of the built environment exhibited a low degree of agreement (kappas: <.20). After adjustment for education, age, and gender, presence of a mall was positively associated with neighborhood walking in both the objective and perceived models.

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