Positive association of physical activity with both objective and perceived measures of the neighborhood environment among older adults: The aichi workers’ cohort study

Yuanying Li, Hiroshi Yatsuya, Tomoya Hanibuchi, Atsuhiko Ota, Hisao Naito, Rei Otsuka, Chiyoe Murata, Yoshihisa Hirakawa, Chifa Chiang, Mayu Uemura, Koji Tamakoshi, Atsuko Aoyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined the association between objective and perceived neighborhood characteristics and self-reported leisure-time physical activity (PA) in older Japanese residents living in areas ranging from metropolitan to rural in 2016. Objective measures used were walkability and the numbers of parks/green spaces and sports facilities within 500 or 1000 m of subjects’ homes, calculated using geographic information systems. Subjective measures were the subjects’ perceptions of their neighborhoods, assessed using a structured questionnaire. All variables were divided into three groups, and the lowest tertile was used as the reference. We assessed the location and frequency of strolling or brisk walking, moderate-intensity PA, and vigorous-intensity PA (sports) using a self-reported questionnaire and defined as performing a certain type of PA 3–4 times/week as a habit. Living in a neighborhood in the highest tertile for walkability and number of parks/green spaces as well as perception of having good access to recreational facilities, observing others exercising and the presence of walkable sidewalks was associated with walking and sports habits (multivariable odds ratios (ORs): 1.33–2.46, all p < 0.05). Interestingly, objective measures of PA-friendly environmental features were inversely associated with moderate-intensity PA habits, potentially because moderate-intensity PA consisted predominantly of gardening. In conclusion, living in an environment supportive of PA, whether objectively or subjectively measured, is related to leisure-time PA habits among older Japanese adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7971
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-11-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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