Advertisement

Perception of parks and trails as mobility facilitators and transportation walking in older adults: a study using digital geographical maps

  • Timo HinrichsEmail author
  • Kirsi E. Keskinen
  • Béla Pavelka
  • Johanna Eronen
  • Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss
  • Taina Rantanen
  • Erja Portegijs
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Transportation walking represents a promising target for physical activity promotion in older adults. Perceived characteristics of the neighbourhood physical environment may affect older adults’ choice of transportation mode for a routine activity such as walking to the grocery store.

Aims

To (1) evaluate associations between older adults’ perception of parks and trails as outdoor mobility facilitators and transportation walking, specifically to the grocery store; and (2) explore whether the spatial relationship between people’s home, perceived facilitator and store was relevant for their transportation choice.

Methods

Cross-sectional data were collected in a subsample of the ‘Life-space mobility in old age’ cohort. Multivariable logistic regression analysis on the binary outcome ‘transportation walking’ (vs. ‘motorized transportation’) was used to evaluate the association with perceived mobility facilitators in the neighborhood; in step (1) without and in step (2) with taking spatial relationships into account.

Results

Perceiving a park as facilitator increased the odds of walking (N = 179; Odds Ratio 9.89; 95% Confidence interval 3.11–31.50). Spatial relationships did not affect transportation choice. Reporting a trail as facilitator was not significantly associated with walking.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that the perception of environmental characteristics in the neighbourhood has an influence on older people’s transportation choices. Taking environmental measures or informing older adults on their options in the neighbourhood might be possible ways to increase older adults’ transportation walking on a population level.

Keywords

Geographic information systems Environment Mobility Physical activity Aged 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the Academy of Finland, the Future of Living and Housing (ASU-LIVE; Grant number 255403 to TR) program and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (to TR and EP).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. 1.
    Caspersen CJ, Powell KE, Christenson GM (1985) Physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness: definitions and distinctions for health-related research. Public Health Rep 100:126–131Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chodzko-Zajko WJ, Proctor DN, Singh MAF et al (2009) Exercise and physical activity for older adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc 41:1510–1530.  https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181a0c95c CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Pahor M, Guralnik JM, Ambrosius WT et al (2014) Effect of structured physical activity on prevention of major mobility disability in older adults: the LIFE study randomized clinical trial. JAMA 311:2387–2396.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2014.5616 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hinrichs T, von Bonsdorff MB, Tormakangas T et al (2014) Inverse effects of midlife occupational and leisure time physical activity on mobility limitation in old age-a 28-year prospective follow-up study. J Am Geriatr Soc 62:812–820.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.12793 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nelson ME, Rejeski WJ, Blair SN et al (2007) Physical activity and public health in older adults: recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circulation 116:1094–1105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2008) 2008 Physical activity guidelines for Americans. Be active, healthy, and happy. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC. https://health.gov/paguidelines/2008/pdf/paguide.pdf. Accessed 1 Aug 2018Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Moschny A, Platen P, Klaaßen-Mielke R et al (2011) Barriers to physical activity in older adults in Germany: a cross-sectional study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 8:121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Manson JE, Greenland P, LaCroix AZ et al (2002) Walking compared with vigorous exercise for the prevention of cardiovascular events in women. N Engl J Med 347:716–725.  https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa021067 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Murtagh EM, Murphy MH, Boone-Heinonen J (2010) Walking: the first steps in cardiovascular disease prevention. Curr Opin Cardiol 25:490–496.  https://doi.org/10.1097/HCO.0b013e32833ce972 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tsai LT, Rantakokko M, Viljanen A et al (2016) Associations between reasons to go outdoors and objectively-measured walking activity in various life-space areas among older people. J Aging Phys Act 24:85–91.  https://doi.org/10.1123/japa.2014-0292 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Brown CJ, Bradberry C, Howze SG et al (2010) Defining community ambulation from the perspective of the older adult. J Geriatr Phys Ther 33:56–63Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chudyk AM, Winters M, Moniruzzaman M et al (2015) Destinations matter: the association between where older adults live and their travel behavior. J Transp Health 2:50–57.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jth.2014.09.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sahlqvist S, Goodman A, Cooper AR et al (2013) Change in active travel and changes in recreational and total physical activity in adults: longitudinal findings from the iConnect study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 10:28.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-28 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Foley L, Panter J, Heinen E, Prins R, Ogilvie D (2015) Changes in active commuting and changes in physical activity in adults: a cohort study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 12:161.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-015-0323-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Grant TL, Edwards N, Sveistrup H et al (2010) Neighborhood walkability: older people’s perspectives from four neighborhoods in Ottawa, Canada. J Aging Phys Act 18:293–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gallagher NA, Gretebeck KA, Robinson JC et al (2010) Neighborhood factors relevant for walking in older, urban, African American adults. J Aging Phys Act 18:99–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cerin E, Nathan A, van Cauwenberg J et al (2017) The neighbourhood physical environment and active travel in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 14:15.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-017-0471-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cerin E, Lee KY, Barnett A et al (2013) Walking for transportation in Hong Kong Chinese urban elders: a cross-sectional study on what destinations matter and when. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 10:78.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-10-78 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Van Cauwenberg J, Clarys P, De Bourdeaudhuij I et al (2012) Physical environmental factors related to walking and cycling in older adults: the Belgian aging studies. BMC Public Health 12:142.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-142 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Maptionnaire. https://maptionnaire.com/. Accessed 29 Jun 2017
  21. 21.
    Rantanen T, Portegijs E, Viljanen A et al (2012) Individual and environmental factors underlying life space of older people—study protocol and design of a cohort study on life-space mobility in old age (LISPE). BMC Public Health 12:1018.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-1018 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Laatikainen TE, Broberg A, Kytta M (2017) The physical environment of positive places: exploring differences between age groups. Prev Med 95(Suppl):S85–S91.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.11.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rantanen H, Kahila M (2009) The SoftGIS approach to local knowledge. J Environ Manag 90:1981–1990.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.08.025 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kyttä AM, Broberg AK, Kahila MH (2012) Urban environment and children’s active lifestyle: softGIS revealing children’s behavioral patterns and meaningful places. Am J Health Promot 26:e137–e148.  https://doi.org/10.4278/ajhp.100914-QUAN-310 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rantakokko M, Iwarsson S, Portegijs E et al (2015) Associations between environmental characteristics and life-space mobility in community-dwelling older people. J Aging Health 27:606–621.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0898264314555328 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gebel K, Bauman A, Owen N (2009) Correlates of non-concordance between perceived and objective measures of walkability. Ann Behav Med 37:228–238.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-009-9098-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hajna S, Dasgupta K, Halparin M et al (2013) Neighborhood walkability: field validation of geographic information system measures. Am J Prev Med 44:e51–e55.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2013.01.033 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Koohsari MJ, Badland H, Sugiyama T et al (2015) Mismatch between perceived and objectively measured land use mix and street connectivity: associations with neighborhood walking. J Urban Health Bull N Y Acad Med 92:242–252.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-014-9928-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Portegijs E, Keskinen KE, Tsai LT et al (2017) Physical limitations, walkability, perceived environmental facilitators and physical activity of older adults in Finland. Int J Environ Res Public Health.  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030333 Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Finnish Transport Agency (2013) Digiroad road and street database, R-format 2013. CSC-IT Center for Science Ltd. (distributor), Finnish Transport Agency (distributor), HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Borst HC, de Vries SI, Graham JMA et al (2009) Influence of environmental street characteristics on walking route choice of elderly people. J Environ Psychol 29:477–484.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2009.08.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Moschny A, Platen P, Klaaßen-Mielke R et al (2011) Physical activity patterns in German elderly men and women: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 11:559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ding D, Sallis JF, Norman GJ et al (2014) Neighborhood environment and physical activity among older adults: do the relationships differ by driving status? J Aging Phys Act 22:421–431.  https://doi.org/10.1123/Japa.2012-0332 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Nosikov A, Gudex G (2003) EUROHIS—developing common instruments for health surveys. WHO Regional Office for Europe, IOS Press, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Portegijs E, Rantakokko M, Mikkola TM et al (2014) Association between physical performance and sense of autonomy in outdoor activities and life-space mobility in community-dwelling older people. J Am Geriatr Soc 62:615–621.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.12763 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Hudon C, Soubhi H, Fortin M (2008) Relationship between multimorbidity and physical activity: secondary analysis from the Quebec health survey. BMC Public Health 8:8.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-8-304 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Hinrichs T, Trampisch U, Burghaus I et al (2010) Correlates of sport participation among community-dwelling elderly people in Germany: a cross-sectional study. Eur Rev Aging Phys Act 7:105–115.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11556-010-0063-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Loprinzi PD (2017) Associations between bouted and non-bouted physical activity on multimorbidity. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging 37:782–784.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cpf.12350 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Autenrieth CS, Kirchberger I, Heier M et al (2013) Physical activity is inversely associated with multimorbidity in elderly men: results from the KORA-Age Augsburg Study. Prev Med 57:17–19.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.02.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Guralnik JM, Simonsick EM, Ferrucci L et al (1994) A short physical performance battery assessing lower-extremity function—association with self-reported disability and prediction of mortality and nursing-home admission. J Gerontol 49:M85–M94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Mänty M, Sihvonen S, Hulkko T et al (2007) Iäkkäiden henkilöiden kaatumistapaturmat. Opas kaatumisten ja murtumien ehkäisyyn. National Public Health Institute. http://www.julkari.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/78593/2007b29.pdf?sequence. Accessed 29 Jun 2017
  42. 42.
    Verghese J, Xue X (2010) Identifying frailty in high functioning older adults with normal mobility. Age Ageing 39:382–385.  https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afp226 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Kulmala J, Ngandu T, Pajala S et al (2016) Leisure-time and occupational physical activity in early and late adulthood in relation to later life physical functioning. J Phys Act Health 13:1079–1087.  https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2015-0664 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Portegijs E, Sipila S, Viljanen A et al (2016) Validity of a single question to assess habitual physical activity of community-dwelling older people. Scand J Med Sci Sports 27:1423–1430.  https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.12782 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Bancroft C, Joshi S, Rundle A et al (2015) Association of proximity and density of parks and objectively measured physical activity in the United States: a systematic review. Soc Sci Med 138:22–30.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.05.034 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Carlson JA, Sallis JF, Conway TL et al (2012) Interactions between psychosocial and built environment factors in explaining older adults’ physical activity. Prev Med 54:68–73.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.10.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    National Land Survey of Finland (2015) Topographic database 2016. CSC—IT Center for Science Ltd. (distributor), National Land Survey of Finland (distributor), HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Yen IH, Fandel Flood J, Thompson H et al (2014) How design of places promotes or inhibits mobility of older adults: realist synthesis of 20 years of research. J Aging Health 26:1340–1372.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0898264314527610 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Van Cauwenberg J, Clarys P, De Bourdeaudhuij I et al (2013) Older adults’ transportation walking: a cross-sectional study on the cumulative influence of physical environmental factors. Int J Health Geogr 12:37.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-072X-12-37 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Van Cauwenberg J, Van Holle V, Simons D et al (2012) Environmental factors influencing older adults’ walking for transportation: a study using walk-along interviews. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 9:85.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-9-85 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    van den Berg AE, Koole SL, van der Wulp NY (2003) Environmental preference and restoration: (How) are they related? J Environ Psychol 23:135–146.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0272-4944(02)00111-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Hur M, Nasar JL, Chun B (2010) Neighborhood satisfaction, physical and perceived naturalness and openness. J Environ Psychol 30:52–59.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2009.05.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Purcell AT, Lamb RJ, Peron EM et al (1994) Preference or preferences for landscape. J Environ Psychol 14:195–209.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0272-4944(94)80056-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Barnett A, Cerin E, Zhang CJP et al (2016) Associations between the neighbourhood environment characteristics and physical activity in older adults with specific types of chronic conditions: the ALECS cross-sectional study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-016-0377-7 Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Shigematsu R, Sallis JF, Conway TL et al (2009) Age differences in the relation of perceived neighborhood environment to walking. Med Sci Sports Exerc 41:314–321.  https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e318185496c CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Inoue S, Ohya Y, Odagiri Y et al (2011) Perceived neighborhood environment and walking for specific purposes among elderly Japanese. J Epidemiol 21:481–490.  https://doi.org/10.2188/jea.JE20110044 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Kolbe-Alexander TL, Pacheco K, Tomaz SA et al (2015) The relationship between the built environment and habitual levels of physical activity in South African older adults: a pilot study. BMC Public Health.  https://doi.org/10.1186/S12889-015-1853-8 Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Nathan A, Wood L, Giles-Corti B (2014) Perceptions of the built environment and associations with walking among retirement village residents. Environ Behav 46:46–69.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916512450173 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Cao XY, Mokhtarian PL, Handy SL (2009) Examining the impacts of residential self-selection on travel behaviour: a focus on empirical findings. Transp Rev 29:359–395.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01441640802539195 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Jette AM, Branch LG (1981) The Framingham Disability Study. 2. Physical disability among the aging. Am J Public Health 71:1211–1216CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Department of Sport, Exercise and HealthUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.Gerontology Research Center, Faculty of Sport and Health SciencesUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

Personalised recommendations