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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(10), 13350-13364; doi:10.3390/ijerph121013350

Perceived and Objective Measures of Neighborhood Walkability and Physical Activity among Adults in Japan: A Multilevel Analysis of a Nationally Representative Sample

1
School of International Liberal Studies, Chukyo University, 101 Tokodachi, Kaizu-Cho, Toyota, Aichi 470-0393, Japan
2
Department of Geography and Research Institute for Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University, 58 Komatsubara Kitamachi, Kita-Ku, Kyoto 603-8341, Japan
3
Kinugasa Research Organization, Ritsumeikan University, 56-1 Toji-in Kitamachi, Kita-Ku, Kyoto 603-8577, Japan
4
Global Collaboration Center, Osaka University, 2-7 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Harry Timmermans, Astrid Kemperman and Pauline van den Berg
Received: 25 August 2015 / Revised: 11 October 2015 / Accepted: 19 October 2015 / Published: 23 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of the Built Environment on Public Health)
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Abstract

Although associations between a person’s neighborhood and their health have been studied internationally, most studies have been limited to a few cities or towns. Therefore, we used a nationally representative sample to explore whether perceived and objective neighborhood walkability was associated with the physical activity of residents. Data were analyzed from the Japanese General Social Surveys of 2010 (n = 2395; 1114 men and 1281 women). Perceived walkability was scored using factor analysis for the respondents’ perceptions of neighborhood conditions, while objective walkability was measured using the geographic information system approach. Finally, multilevel logistic regression analysis was performed to examine whether neighborhood walkability was associated with the frequency of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) among respondents. We found that perceived walkability was positively associated with the frequency of LTPA (odds ratio of the highest quartile was 1.53 (1.14–2.05) compared with the lowest quartile); however, objective walkability showed no association. When stratified by gender, an association between perceived walkability and LTPA was observed among women, but only a marginally significant association was present between objective walkability and LTPA among men. We conclude that the association between neighborhood walkability and LTPA can be partially generalized across Japan. View Full-Text
Keywords: neighborhoods; physical activity; geographic information systems; multilevel analysis; Japan neighborhoods; physical activity; geographic information systems; multilevel analysis; Japan
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hanibuchi, T.; Nakaya, T.; Yonejima, M.; Honjo, K. Perceived and Objective Measures of Neighborhood Walkability and Physical Activity among Adults in Japan: A Multilevel Analysis of a Nationally Representative Sample. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 13350-13364.

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