A longitudinal analysis of the influence of the neighborhood environment on recreational walking within the neighborhood: Results from RESIDE

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: There is limited longitudinal evidence confirming the role of neighborhood environment attributes in encouraging people to walk more or if active people simply choose to live in activity-friendly neighborhoods. Natural experiments of policy changes to create more walkable communities provide stronger evidence for a causal effect of neighborhood environments on residents’ walking. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to investigate longitudinal associations between objective and perceived neighborhood environment measures and neighborhood recreational walking. METHODS: We analyzed longitudinal data collected over 8 yr (four surveys) from the RESIDential Environments (RESIDE) Study (Perth, Australia, 2003–2012). At each time point, participants reported the frequency and total minutes of recreational walking/week within their neighborhood and neighborhood environment perceptions. Objective measures of the neighborhood environment were generated using a Geographic Information System (GIS). RESULTS: Local recreational walking was influenced by objectively measured access to a medium-/large-size park, beach access, and higher street connectivity, which was reduced when adjusted for neighborhood perceptions. In adjusted models, positive perceptions of access to a park and beach, higher street connectivity, neighborhood esthetics, and safety from crime were independent determinants of increased neighborhood recreational walking. Local recreational walking increased by 9 min/wk (12% increase in frequency) for each additional perceived neighborhood attribute present. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide urban planners and policy makers with stronger causal evidence of the positive impact of well-connected neighborhoods and access to local parks of varying sizes on local residents’ recreational walking and health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number077009
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume125
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

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Walking
Geographic Information Systems
Crime
Administrative Personnel
Esthetics
Safety

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title = "A longitudinal analysis of the influence of the neighborhood environment on recreational walking within the neighborhood: Results from RESIDE",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: There is limited longitudinal evidence confirming the role of neighborhood environment attributes in encouraging people to walk more or if active people simply choose to live in activity-friendly neighborhoods. Natural experiments of policy changes to create more walkable communities provide stronger evidence for a causal effect of neighborhood environments on residents’ walking. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to investigate longitudinal associations between objective and perceived neighborhood environment measures and neighborhood recreational walking. METHODS: We analyzed longitudinal data collected over 8 yr (four surveys) from the RESIDential Environments (RESIDE) Study (Perth, Australia, 2003–2012). At each time point, participants reported the frequency and total minutes of recreational walking/week within their neighborhood and neighborhood environment perceptions. Objective measures of the neighborhood environment were generated using a Geographic Information System (GIS). RESULTS: Local recreational walking was influenced by objectively measured access to a medium-/large-size park, beach access, and higher street connectivity, which was reduced when adjusted for neighborhood perceptions. In adjusted models, positive perceptions of access to a park and beach, higher street connectivity, neighborhood esthetics, and safety from crime were independent determinants of increased neighborhood recreational walking. Local recreational walking increased by 9 min/wk (12{\%} increase in frequency) for each additional perceived neighborhood attribute present. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide urban planners and policy makers with stronger causal evidence of the positive impact of well-connected neighborhoods and access to local parks of varying sizes on local residents’ recreational walking and health.",
author = "Hayley Christian and Matthew Knuiman and Mark Divitini and Sarah Foster and Paula Hooper and Bryan Boruff and Fiona Bull and Billie Giles-Corti",
year = "2017",
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doi = "10.1289/EHP823",
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AU - Christian, Hayley

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AU - Divitini, Mark

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AU - Hooper, Paula

AU - Boruff, Bryan

AU - Bull, Fiona

AU - Giles-Corti, Billie

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N2 - BACKGROUND: There is limited longitudinal evidence confirming the role of neighborhood environment attributes in encouraging people to walk more or if active people simply choose to live in activity-friendly neighborhoods. Natural experiments of policy changes to create more walkable communities provide stronger evidence for a causal effect of neighborhood environments on residents’ walking. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to investigate longitudinal associations between objective and perceived neighborhood environment measures and neighborhood recreational walking. METHODS: We analyzed longitudinal data collected over 8 yr (four surveys) from the RESIDential Environments (RESIDE) Study (Perth, Australia, 2003–2012). At each time point, participants reported the frequency and total minutes of recreational walking/week within their neighborhood and neighborhood environment perceptions. Objective measures of the neighborhood environment were generated using a Geographic Information System (GIS). RESULTS: Local recreational walking was influenced by objectively measured access to a medium-/large-size park, beach access, and higher street connectivity, which was reduced when adjusted for neighborhood perceptions. In adjusted models, positive perceptions of access to a park and beach, higher street connectivity, neighborhood esthetics, and safety from crime were independent determinants of increased neighborhood recreational walking. Local recreational walking increased by 9 min/wk (12% increase in frequency) for each additional perceived neighborhood attribute present. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide urban planners and policy makers with stronger causal evidence of the positive impact of well-connected neighborhoods and access to local parks of varying sizes on local residents’ recreational walking and health.

AB - BACKGROUND: There is limited longitudinal evidence confirming the role of neighborhood environment attributes in encouraging people to walk more or if active people simply choose to live in activity-friendly neighborhoods. Natural experiments of policy changes to create more walkable communities provide stronger evidence for a causal effect of neighborhood environments on residents’ walking. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to investigate longitudinal associations between objective and perceived neighborhood environment measures and neighborhood recreational walking. METHODS: We analyzed longitudinal data collected over 8 yr (four surveys) from the RESIDential Environments (RESIDE) Study (Perth, Australia, 2003–2012). At each time point, participants reported the frequency and total minutes of recreational walking/week within their neighborhood and neighborhood environment perceptions. Objective measures of the neighborhood environment were generated using a Geographic Information System (GIS). RESULTS: Local recreational walking was influenced by objectively measured access to a medium-/large-size park, beach access, and higher street connectivity, which was reduced when adjusted for neighborhood perceptions. In adjusted models, positive perceptions of access to a park and beach, higher street connectivity, neighborhood esthetics, and safety from crime were independent determinants of increased neighborhood recreational walking. Local recreational walking increased by 9 min/wk (12% increase in frequency) for each additional perceived neighborhood attribute present. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide urban planners and policy makers with stronger causal evidence of the positive impact of well-connected neighborhoods and access to local parks of varying sizes on local residents’ recreational walking and health.

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