Site and neighborhood environments for walking among older adults

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Walking has significant health and mobility benefits for older adults. Previous environment–walking studies have focused on neighborhood environments, overlooking proximate site-level characteristics. This study examines both the neighborhood and site-level environments.A survey was conducted with 114 older adults from five assisted-living facilities in Houston, TX. A subset of 61 participants’ environments was examined using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Multivariate analyses identified positive correlates of walking at the site level including yard landscaping and corner-lots, and neighborhood-level correlates including walking destinations, safety from crime, and sidewalks. Both site-level and neighborhood environmental supports appear important in promoting walking among older adults.

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