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Open AccessArticle

Do Differences in Social Environments Explain Gender Differences in Recreational Walking across Neighbourhoods?

1
International Institute for Global Health, United Nations University, Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia
2
Centre for Health Equity, School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, VIC 3010, Australia
3
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
4
School of Civil Engineering, The Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
5
Healthy Liveable Cities Group, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1980; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111980
Received: 5 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 28 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Physical Activity and Public Health)
Within a city, gender differences in walking for recreation (WfR) vary significantly across neighbourhoods, although the reasons remain unknown. This cross-sectional study investigated the contribution of the social environment (SE) to explaining such variation, using 2009 data from the How Areas in Brisbane Influence healTh and AcTivity (HABITAT) study, including 7866 residents aged 42–67 years within 200 neighbourhoods in Brisbane, Australia (72.6% response rate). The analytical sample comprised 200 neighbourhoods and 6643 participants (mean 33 per neighbourhood, range 8–99, 95% CI 30.6–35.8). Self-reported weekly minutes of WfR were categorised into 0 and 1–840 mins. The SE was conceptualised through neighbourhood-level perceptions of social cohesion, incivilities and safety from crime. Analyses included multilevel binomial logistic regression with gender as main predictor, adjusting for age, socioeconomic position, residential self-selection and neighbourhood disadvantage. On average, women walked more for recreation than men prior to adjustment for covariates. Gender differences in WfR varied significantly across neighbourhoods, and the magnitude of the variation for women was twice that of men. The SE did not explain neighbourhood differences in the gender–WfR relationship, nor the between-neighbourhood variation in WfR for men or women. Neighbourhood-level factors seem to influence the WfR of men and women differently, with women being more sensitive to their environment, although Brisbane’s SE did not seem such a factor. View Full-Text
Keywords: gender equality; recreational walking; social environment; between-neighbourhood variation; multilevel modelling; random coefficients; urban planning; ecological interventions; sustainable development goals; sustainable cities and communities gender equality; recreational walking; social environment; between-neighbourhood variation; multilevel modelling; random coefficients; urban planning; ecological interventions; sustainable development goals; sustainable cities and communities
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Ghani, F.; Rachele, J.N.; Loh, V.H.; Washington, S.; Turrell, G. Do Differences in Social Environments Explain Gender Differences in Recreational Walking across Neighbourhoods? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1980.

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