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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 551; doi:10.3390/ijerph14050551

Changes in Objectively-Determined Walkability and Physical Activity in Adults: A Quasi-Longitudinal Residential Relocation Study

Department of Community Health Science, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
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Academic Editor: Derek Clements-Croome
Received: 5 March 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Abstract

Causal evidence for the built environment’s role in supporting physical activity is needed to inform land use and transportation policies. This quasi-longitudinal residential relocation study compared within-person changes in self-reported transportation walking, transportation cycling, and overall physical activity during the past 12 months among adults who did and did not move to a different neighbourhood. In 2014, a random sample of adults from 12 neighbourhoods (Calgary, AB, Canada) with varying urban form and socioeconomic status provided complete self-administered questionnaire data (n = 915). Participants, some of whom moved neighbourhood during the past 12 months (n = 95), reported their perceived change in transportation walking and cycling, and overall physical activity during that period. The questionnaire also captured residential self-selection, and sociodemographic and health characteristics. Walk Scores® were linked to each participant’s current and previous neighbourhood and three groups identified: walkability “improvers” (n = 48); “decliners” (n = 47), and; “maintainers” (n = 820). Perceived change in physical activity was compared between the three groups using propensity score covariate-adjusted Firth logistic regression (odds ratios: OR). Compared with walkability maintainers, walkability decliners (OR 4.37) and improvers (OR 4.14) were more likely (p < 0.05) to report an increase in their transportation walking since moving neighbourhood, while walkability decliners were also more likely (OR 3.17) to report decreasing their transportation walking since moving. Walkability improvers were more likely than maintainers to increase their transportation cycling since moving neighbourhood (OR 4.22). Temporal changes in neighbourhood walkability resulting from residential relocation appear to be associated with reported temporal changes in transportation walking and cycling in adults. View Full-Text
Keywords: built environment; residential relocation; natural experiment; longitudinal; physical activity; walkability; walking; cycling; neighbourhood built environment; residential relocation; natural experiment; longitudinal; physical activity; walkability; walking; cycling; neighbourhood
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

McCormack, G.R.; McLaren, L.; Salvo, G.; Blackstaffe, A. Changes in Objectively-Determined Walkability and Physical Activity in Adults: A Quasi-Longitudinal Residential Relocation Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 551.

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