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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 965;

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

Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7UQ, UK
Centre for Research and Action in Public Health (CeRAPH), UC Health Research Institute, University of Canberra, Canberra 2601, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Prevention and Population Health Branch, South Australian Department for Health and Ageing, Adelaide 5001, South Australia, Australia
School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5001, South Australia, Australia
Institute for Health and Ageing, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne 3000, Victoria, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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)
Full-Text   |   PDF [291 KB, uploaded 26 August 2017]


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
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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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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