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Walkability parameters, active transportation and objective physical activity: moderating and mediating effects of motor vehicle ownership in a cross-sectional study

Eriksson, Ulf LU ; Arvidsson, Daniel LU ; Gebel, Klaus; Ohlsson, Henrik LU and Sundquist, Kristina LU (2012) In International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 9.
Abstract
Background: Neighborhood walkability has been associated with physical activity in several studies. However, as environmental correlates of physical activity may be context specific, walkability parameters need to be investigated separately in various countries and contexts. Furthermore, the mechanisms by which walkability affects physical activity have been less investigated. Based on previous research, we hypothesized that vehicle ownership is a potential mediator. We investigated the associations between walkability parameters and physical activity, and the mediating and moderating effects of vehicle ownership on these associations in a large sample of Swedish adults. Methods: Residential density, street connectivity and land use mix... (More)
Background: Neighborhood walkability has been associated with physical activity in several studies. However, as environmental correlates of physical activity may be context specific, walkability parameters need to be investigated separately in various countries and contexts. Furthermore, the mechanisms by which walkability affects physical activity have been less investigated. Based on previous research, we hypothesized that vehicle ownership is a potential mediator. We investigated the associations between walkability parameters and physical activity, and the mediating and moderating effects of vehicle ownership on these associations in a large sample of Swedish adults. Methods: Residential density, street connectivity and land use mix were assessed within polygon-based network buffers (using Geographic Information Systems) for 2,178 men and women. Time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity was assessed by accelerometers, and walking and cycling for transportation were assessed by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Associations were examined by linear regression and adjusted for socio-demographic characteristics. The product of coefficients approach was used to investigate the mediating effect of vehicle ownership. Results: Residential density and land use mix, but not street connectivity, were significantly associated with time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity and walking for transportation. Cycling for transportation was not associated with any of the walkability parameters. Vehicle ownership mediated a significant proportion of the association between the walkability parameters and physical activity outcomes. For residential density, vehicle ownership mediated 25% of the association with moderate to vigorous physical activity and 20% of the association with the amount of walking for transportation. For land use mix, the corresponding proportions were 34% and 14%. Vehicle ownership did not moderate any of the associations between the walkability parameters and physical activity outcomes. Conclusions: Residential density and land use mix were associated with time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity and walking for transportation. Vehicle ownership was a mediator but not a moderator of these associations. The present findings may be useful for policy makers and city planners when designing neighborhoods that promote physical activity. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Accelerometer, Neighborhood walkability, Geographic information system, Mediator, Moderator
in
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
volume
9
publisher
BioMed Central
external identifiers
  • wos:000311279600001
  • scopus:84867019661
ISSN
1479-5868
DOI
10.1186/1479-5868-9-123
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
117b3a53-7eff-4aec-84c7-9d21de4fa23a (old id 3244513)
date added to LUP
2013-01-07 09:35:50
date last changed
2017-04-09 03:57:18
@article{117b3a53-7eff-4aec-84c7-9d21de4fa23a,
  abstract     = {Background: Neighborhood walkability has been associated with physical activity in several studies. However, as environmental correlates of physical activity may be context specific, walkability parameters need to be investigated separately in various countries and contexts. Furthermore, the mechanisms by which walkability affects physical activity have been less investigated. Based on previous research, we hypothesized that vehicle ownership is a potential mediator. We investigated the associations between walkability parameters and physical activity, and the mediating and moderating effects of vehicle ownership on these associations in a large sample of Swedish adults. Methods: Residential density, street connectivity and land use mix were assessed within polygon-based network buffers (using Geographic Information Systems) for 2,178 men and women. Time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity was assessed by accelerometers, and walking and cycling for transportation were assessed by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Associations were examined by linear regression and adjusted for socio-demographic characteristics. The product of coefficients approach was used to investigate the mediating effect of vehicle ownership. Results: Residential density and land use mix, but not street connectivity, were significantly associated with time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity and walking for transportation. Cycling for transportation was not associated with any of the walkability parameters. Vehicle ownership mediated a significant proportion of the association between the walkability parameters and physical activity outcomes. For residential density, vehicle ownership mediated 25% of the association with moderate to vigorous physical activity and 20% of the association with the amount of walking for transportation. For land use mix, the corresponding proportions were 34% and 14%. Vehicle ownership did not moderate any of the associations between the walkability parameters and physical activity outcomes. Conclusions: Residential density and land use mix were associated with time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity and walking for transportation. Vehicle ownership was a mediator but not a moderator of these associations. The present findings may be useful for policy makers and city planners when designing neighborhoods that promote physical activity.},
  author       = {Eriksson, Ulf and Arvidsson, Daniel and Gebel, Klaus and Ohlsson, Henrik and Sundquist, Kristina},
  issn         = {1479-5868},
  keyword      = {Accelerometer,Neighborhood walkability,Geographic information system,Mediator,Moderator},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {BioMed Central},
  series       = {International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity},
  title        = {Walkability parameters, active transportation and objective physical activity: moderating and mediating effects of motor vehicle ownership in a cross-sectional study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-9-123},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2012},
}