Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 19–33 | Cite as

A Cross-Sectional Survey on Older Adults’ Community Mobility in an Indian Metropolis

  • Meena Ramachandran
  • Sebestina A. D’Souza


Community mobility supports occupational participation among older adults and promotes active ageing. This study aimed to explore community mobility of older adults within an urban Indian context in view of the limited available literature in this area. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on a convenience sample of 75 older adults residing in Chennai city using a questionnaire and a non-retrospective, open format, two-day time diary. Participants engaged in community mobility and activities outside home for 10 % of time over two days. Activities and roles related to religious and spiritual activities and expression, social participation, leisure and informal personal education participation occupied most time and were engaged in most frequently. Walking was the most frequently used mode of transportation and participants reported numerous road-related hazards (lack of proper pavements, disobedience of traffic rules, difficulty crossing roads, crowded roads, and poor condition of roads). Participants used public transport less often. Public transport-related barriers (difficulty boarding and alighting buses/trains due to high steps/insufficient time, inadequate seat reservation for older adults, overcrowding and increased expense on auto rickshaws/taxis) were also expressed as concerns. Participants linked their ability to use public transport with independence and assigned relatively less value to driving. The findings emphasize the significance of community mobility to promote participation in older adults and recommend age-friendly environments in Indian cities.


Activity Community mobility Environment Older adults Public transport Roles 



We would like to express our gratitude to Mrs. Vinita Acharya, Mrs. Vasanthi Prabhu and Mrs. Sumedha Kamath for validating the questionnaire. We are grateful to Mr. G. Venkataraman and Mr. Vijai Chettiappan for their assistance during translation. We would also like to thank the participants for sparing their time and sharing their perspectives.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

Approval for the study was obtained from the local Ethics Committee.

Informed Consent

Informed consent for participation was obtained from all participants. Participation in the study was voluntary and confidentiality of identities and data has been maintained.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Allied Health SciencesManipal UniversityManipalIndia

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