Departmental Bulletin Paper Relationships between Environmental Perceptions and Walking Exercise Behavior among Older People in Different Residential Areas

OTA, Kiyomi  ,  NINOMIYA, Kazue

21 ( 2 )  , pp.23 - 31 , 2016
We aimed to clarify relationships of walking activities to physical and social environments among older people and improve interventions with community characteristics and the environment in mind. An anonymous self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted with 681 participants at the College for the Aged sponsored by Okayama Prefecture Federation of Senior Citizens Clubs. Included in the survey were demographic characteristics, stages of walking behavior and perceived physical and social environments. Participants were divided into the urban and semi- mountainous regions, and also divided by stage of walking behavior into implementing and non- implementing groups. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to examine the results. Out of 610 returned questionnaires (response rate 89.6%), 338 completed questionnaires were analyzed. As a result, older people in the urban region perceived physical environment to be significantly higher than those in the semi-mountainous region. The implementing group perceived social environment to be significantly higher than the non-implementing group. In addition, for the semi-mountainous region, the implementing group perceived physical environment to be higher than the non-implementing group. These findings suggest that in order to promote walking activity it is effective to intervene in perceived physical and social environments in the semi-mountainous region, and the perceived social environment in the urban region.

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