Walking is the most accessible form for seniors to engage in daily light or moderate physical activity. Walking activity depends on both individual and environmental factors, the latter including how walkable a given setting is. Recent papers have pointed at the relevance of also considering meteorological conditions in relation to the walking behavior of older adults. This paper explores the combined effect of neighborhood walkability, temperature and rain on daily walking time among seniors residing in Barcelona. Daily walking time was extracted from 7-day GPS (Global Positioning System) devices and accelerometer data of 227 seniors residing in the Barcelona Metropolitan Region (Spain). Temperature and rain data were extracted from official governmental weather stations. Mixed-effects linear regression models were adjusted to test the combined association between weather and walkability on daily walking time. Neighborhood walkability is positively associated with walking time among seniors, while rain generally deters it. Additionally, this study demonstrates that temperature and rain modify the effect of residential walkability on senior walking activity: low temperatures are particularly associated with lower walking activity among those residing in low walkable areas, while the presence of rain presents a negative association with walking time in high walkable environments. The combined effect of walkability and weather should be considered both in design actions that aim at improving walking infrastructure and also in prevention programs aimed at encouraging daily walking among seniors.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|