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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp e245–e250 | Cite as

Supportive neighbourhood built characteristics and dog-walking in Canadian adults

  • Gavin R. McCormackEmail author
  • Taryn M. Graham
  • Hayley Christian
  • Ann M. Toohey
  • Melanie J. Rock
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Our study objectives were to: 1) estimate differences in perceptions of the neighbourhood built environment among non-dog-owners, owners who walk their dogs (dog-walkers) and owners who do not walk their dogs (non-dog-walkers), and 2) estimate associations between perceptions of the neighbourhood built environment and dog-walking frequency.

METHOD: A random cross-section of Calgary adults completed telephone interviews during August–October 2007 (n = 2,199, response rate = 33.6%) or January–April 2008 (n = 2,223, response rate = 36.7%). Telephone interviews and a follow-up questionnaire captured physical activity, health and sociodemographic characteristics, dog-ownership, and perceived built environment characteristics. Using ANOVA, we compared the perceived built environment among non-dog-owners, non-dog-walkers and dog-walkers. For dog-owners only, logistic regression estimated associations (odds ratios: OR) between dogwalking participation and perceived built environment. Among dog-walkers, logistic regression estimated associations between dog-walking ≥4 times/week and perceived built environment. Furthermore, among dog-walkers, linear regression estimated associations (unstandardized β) between dog-walking frequency and perceived built environment.

RESULTS: Compared with dog-walkers, non-dog-owners reported more positive perceptions of neighbourhood street connectivity, pedestrian infrastructure, and walkability (p < 0.05). Among dog-walkers, aesthetics was positively associated (p < 0.05) with the likelihood of walking the dog ≥4 times in a usual week (covariate-adjusted-OR = 1.67) and dog-walking frequency (covariate-adjusted-β = 0.15). Among dog-walkers, walkability was also positively associated (p < 0.05) with dog-walking ≥4 times in a usual week (covariate-adjusted-OR = 1.03) and dog-walking frequency (covariateadjusted- β = 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Perceptions of the neighbourhood built environment appear to differ between non-dog-owners and dog-owners. While built environment improvements may not encourage owners to initiate dog-walking, creating attractive and walkable neighbourhoods may support regular dog-walking among owners already walking their dogs.

Key Words

Physical activity dogs neighbourhood built environment walking 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS : Notre étude visait: 1) à estimer les écarts dans la perception de l’environnement bâti du quartier chez les non-propriétaires de chiens, les propriétaires qui promènent leurs chiens (promeneurs de chiens) et les propriétaires qui ne promènent pas leurs chiens (non-promeneurs de chiens) et 2) à estimer les associations entre la perception de l’environnement bâti du quartier et la fréquence de promenade de chiens.

MÉTHODE : Un échantillon aléatoire d’adultes de Calgary a répondu à un sondage téléphonique entre août et octobre 2007 (n = 2 199, taux de réponse = 33,6 %) ou entre janvier et avril 2008 (n = 2 223, taux de réponse = 36,7 %). Ces sondages téléphoniques et un questionnaire de suivi ont permis de saisir des données sur l’activité physique, la santé et les caractéristiques sociodémographiques, la possession de chiens et les caractéristiques subjectives de l’environnement bâti. À l’aide d’une analyse de la variance, nous avons comparé l’environnement bâti perçu par les non-propriétaires de chiens, les non-promeneurs de chiens et les promeneurs de chiens. Pour les propriétaires de chiens seulement, nous avons procédé par régression logistique pour estimer les associations (rapports de cotes: RC) entre le fait de promener un chien et l’environnement bâti perçu. Chez les promeneurs de chiens, une analyse de régression logistique a estimé les associations entre la promenade de chiens ≥4 fois/semaine et l’environnement bâti perçu. Par ailleurs, chez les promeneurs de chiens, nous avons estimé par régression linéaire les associations (coefficients non standardisés β) entre la fréquence de promenade de chiens et l’environnement bâti perçu.

RÉSULTATS : Comparativement aux promeneurs de chiens, les nonpropriétaires de chiens ont affiché une perception plus positive de la connectivité des rues du quartier, des infrastructures piétonnières et de la marchabilité (p < 0,05). Chez les promeneurs de chiens, l’esthétisme était positivement associé (p < 0,05) à la probabilité de promener le chien ≥4 fois au cours d’une semaine type (RC pondéré en fonction des covariables = 1,67) et à la fréquence de promenade du chien (β pondéré en fonction des covariables = 0,15). Chez les promeneurs de chiens, la marchabilité était aussi positivement associée (p < 0,05) à la promenade du chien ≥4 fois au cours d’une semaine type (RC pondéré en fonction des covariables = 1,03) et à la fréquence de promenade du chien (β pondéré en fonction des covariables = 0,05).

CONCLUSION : La perception de l’environnement bâti du quartier semble être différente selon que l’on est ou non propriétaire d’un chien. Les améliorations à l’environnement bâti n’encouragent pas nécessairement les propriétaires de chiens à promener leur animal, mais la création de quartiers attrayants et propices à la marche pourrait favoriser les promenades régulières chez les propriétaires qui promènent déjà leurs chiens.

Mots Clés

activité physique chiens quartier environnement bâti Marche 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gavin R. McCormack
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Taryn M. Graham
    • 1
  • Hayley Christian
    • 3
  • Ann M. Toohey
    • 1
  • Melanie J. Rock
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.O’Brien Institute for Public HealthUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.School of Population HealthThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  4. 4.Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Ecosystem and Public HealthUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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