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Analysis of Environmental Correlates with Walking among Older Urban Adults

도시 노인들의 걷기활동 참여에 영향을 주는 물리적 환경요인 분석

  • Received : 2011.03.09
  • Accepted : 2011.04.26
  • Published : 2011.04.30

Abstract

Since walking and physical activity are critical for older adults to maintain their health, it is important to provide neighborhood environments which encourage their walking in daily life. The purposes of the present study were to investigate walking activity patterns of older people in an urban setting and to identify environmental correlates with walking of older adults. This study examined spatial and temporal patterns of physical activities, environmental barriers and motivations, satisfaction levels and demands on the physical environment. In-depth interviews with older adults over age sixty residing in Seoul metropolitan areas revealed that most respondents have a positive perception on walking in daily life, and many of them walk regularly for their health. A primary purpose of walking for older adults was exercise for health rather than transportation. The study result demonstrated that parks and trails were the most preferred places for walking by older adults, and there is an association between frequency of walking participation and access or convenience to parks, traffic safety, and street lights. Most respondents were concerned about traffic safety when they walk in their neighborhoods due to traffic speeds and unsafe streets. Lack of separate sidewalks or benches, stairs and slopes were barriers to older adults' walking habits. This data suggests that the promotion of walking behavior among older adults, some level of public health action, and community support are needed to ensure safe physical environments within communities.

Keywords

Walking;Active Aging;Stages of Change Model;Environmental Correlates

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