Physical Activity and Concordance between Objective and Perceived Walkability.

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Abstract

PURPOSE:: To investigate concordance between objective and perceived neighborhood walkability, their associations with self-reported walking and objective physical activity, and sociodemographic characteristics of individuals in neighborhoods with objectively assessed high walkability who misperceive it as low. METHODS:: In 1,925 individuals aged 20-66 years, recruited from administrative areas in the city of Stockholm, Sweden, of both high and low neighborhood walkability, objective neighborhood walkability was assessed within a 1,000m radius of each individual's residential address using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Perceived walkability was based on the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS). Walking was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), and total physical activity and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) by an accelerometer (ActiGraph). Sociodemographic characteristics were self-reported. RESULTS:: Objective and perceived neighborhood walkability agreed in 67.0% of the individuals, with kappa=0.34 (95% CI: 0.30-0.38). One-third of the individuals in neighborhoods with objectively assessed high walkability misperceived it as low. This non-concordance was more common among older and married/cohabiting individuals. After adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, high objective neighborhood walkability was associated with 35.0 (95% CI: 14.6-64.6) and 10.5 (95% CI: -5.2-28.5) more minutes/week of walking for transportation and leisure, respectively, and 2.8 (95% CI: 0.9-5.0) more minutes/day of MVPA. High perceived neighborhood walkability was associated with 41.5 (95% CI: 15.8-62.9) and 21.8 (95% CI: 2.8-40.0) more minutes/week of walking for transportation and leisure, respectively, and 1.7 (95% CI: -0.3-3.7) more minutes/day of MVPA. CONCLUSIONS:: Objective and perceived neighborhood walkability both contribute to the amount of walking and objective physical activity. Both measures of neighborhood walkability may be important factors to target in interventions aiming at increasing physical activity.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-287
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Volume44
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes