The relationship of self-reported health status and perceived neighborhood built environment with the amount of self-reported walking among urban community dwelling older adults

Anne Bradley Mitchell, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

With advancing age, there is a greater incidence of chronic disease. Increased levels of physical activity may reduce the burden of complications from chronic diseases. Walking is the most common form of physical activity for older adults, yet previous studies report that only 25% perform the recommended amount of 150 minutes or more per week. The purpose of this study was to describe the relationship of self-reported health status and perceived neighborhood built environment with the amount of self-reported walking. The ecological theory of aging served as the theoretical framework. The study was a descriptive, cross sectional, non-experimental survey with a sample of 140 urban community dwelling adults over age 65. This study had a sample that was 94% African American, representing one of the largest quantitative studies focused on African American older adults and walking. Data collection consisted of four survey instruments that measured the participants' demographic information, perception of health, perception of the neighborhood built environment and the amount of self-reported walking. Multiple regression models were used for analyses. The significant covariates for less minutes of total walking were older age, greater BMI and female gender. The significance of age, gender and BMI were similar to findings with non-minority samples. The significant built environment covariates were proximity to retail and access to services for transport walking, and neighborhood surroundings for non-transport walking. Crime and traffic were not significant built environment covariates influencing the amount of walking. The mean number of minutes for transport walking at 90 minutes per week was significantly greater than the number of non-transport walking at 20 minutes per week. Self-reported health perceptions were statistically more significant than the neighborhood built environment perceptions. Interventions targeting the health problems of older adults, and modifying the built environment for those identified health problems may lead to increased walking in the neighborhood.

Subject Area

Aging|Nursing|Urban planning

Recommended Citation

Mitchell, Anne Bradley, "The relationship of self-reported health status and perceived neighborhood built environment with the amount of self-reported walking among urban community dwelling older adults" (2012). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3542931.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3542931

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