Supportive neighbourhood built characteristics and dog-walking in Canadian adults

G.R. Mccormack, T.M. Graham, Hayley Christian, A.M. Toohey, M.J. Rock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Canadian Public Health Association or its licensor.OBJECTIVES: Our study objectives were to: 1) estimate differences in perceptions of the neighbourhood built environment among non-dog-owners, owners who walk their dogs (dog-walkers) and owners who do not walk their dogs (non-dog-walkers), and 2) estimate associations between perceptions of the neighbourhood built environment and dog-walking frequency. METHOD: A random cross-section of Calgary adults completed telephone interviews during August–October 2007 (n = 2,199, response rate = 33.6%) or January–April 2008 (n = 2,223, response rate = 36.7%). Telephone interviews and a follow-up questionnaire captured physical activity, health and sociodemographic characteristics, dog-ownership, and perceived built environment characteristics. Using ANOVA, we compared the perceived built environment among non-dog-owners, non-dog-walkers and dog-walkers. For dog-owners only, logistic regression estimated associations (odds ratios: OR) between dogwalking participation and perceived built environment. Among dog-walkers, logistic regression estimated associations between dog-walking =4 times/week and perceived built environment. Furthermore, among dog-walkers, linear regression estimated associations (unstandardized ß) between dog-walking frequency and perceived built environment. RESULTS: Compared with dog-walkers, non-dog-owners reported more positive perceptions of neighbourhood street connectivity, pedestrian infrastructure, and walkability (p <0.05). Among dog-walkers, aesthetics was positively associated (p <0.05) with the likelihood of walking the dog =4 times in a usual week (covariate-adjusted-OR = 1.67) and dog-walking frequency (covariate-adjusted-ß = 0.15). Among dog-walkers, walkability was also positively associated (p <0.05) with dog-walking =4 times in a usual week (covariate-adjusted-OR = 1.03) and dog-walking frequency (covariateadjusted- ß = 0.05). CONCLUSION: Perceptions of the neighbourhood built environment appear to differ between non-dog-owners
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e245-e250
JournalCanadian Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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