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J Aging Health. 2011 Dec;23(8):1246-62. doi: 10.1177/0898264311412597. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Built environment and lower extremity physical performance: prospective findings from the study of osteoporotic fractures in women.

Author information

1
Drexel University School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Philadelphia, PA19102, USA. michaely@drexel.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We examined the association between walkability of the built environment and changes in physical performance among women aged 65 or older (n = 1,671, 253 neighborhoods).

METHOD:

Street connectivity and street density, markers for neighborhood walkability, were assessed through linkage to secondary data sources. Physical performance was measured with timed-walk and chair-stand tests assessed during follow-up visits about every 2 years for 12 to 14 years. Multilevel models predicted change in physical performance, controlling for age, number of incident comorbidities, self-rated health, and death during follow-up.

RESULTS:

Overall, physical performance declined during follow-up (p < .001). Neighborhood walkability had no effect on change in physical performance among women who reported not walking at baseline. However, among women who walked, greater neighborhood walkability was associated with a slower decline in dynamic leg strength, indicated by score on chair stand.

DISCUSSION:

Neighborhood walkability may protect against decline in physical performance.

PMID:
21724965
PMCID:
PMC3655537
DOI:
10.1177/0898264311412597
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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