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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Neighbourhood Environmental Attributes Associated with Walking in South Australian Adults: Differences between Urban and Rural Areas

1
Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7UQ, UK
2
Centre for Research and Action in Public Health (CeRAPH), UC Health Research Institute, University of Canberra, Canberra 2601, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
3
Prevention and Population Health Branch, South Australian Department for Health and Ageing, Adelaide 5001, South Australia, Australia
4
School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5001, South Australia, Australia
5
Institute for Health and Ageing, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne 3000, Victoria, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 965; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14090965
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
Although the health benefits of walking are well established, participation is lower in rural areas compared to urban areas. Most studies on walkability and walking have been conducted in urban areas, thus little is known about the relevance of walkability to rural areas. A computer-assisted telephone survey of 2402 adults (aged ≥18 years) was conducted to determine walking behaviour and perceptions of neighbourhood walkability. Data were stratified by urban (n = 1738) and rural (n = 664). A greater proportion of respondents reported no walking in rural (25.8%) compared to urban areas (18.5%). Compared to urban areas, rural areas had lower walkability scores and urban residents reported higher frequency of walking. The association of perceived walkability with walking was significant only in urban areas. These results suggest that environmental factors associated with walking in urban areas may not be relevant in rural areas. Appropriate walkability measures specific to rural areas should be further researched. View Full-Text
Keywords: walking; walkability; rural; urban; environment walking; walkability; rural; urban; environment
MDPI and ACS Style

Berry, N.M.; Coffee, N.T.; Nolan, R.; Dollman, J.; Sugiyama, T. Neighbourhood Environmental Attributes Associated with Walking in South Australian Adults: Differences between Urban and Rural Areas. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 965.

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