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Sample records for neighborhood environment walkability

  1. An Australian Version of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale: Validity Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cerin, Ester; Leslie, Eva; Owen, Neville; Bauman, Adrian

    2008-01-01

    This study examined validity evidence for the Australian version of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS-AU). A stratified two-stage cluster sampling design was used to recruit 2,650 adults from Adelaide (Australia). The sample was drawn from residential addresses within eight high-walkable and eight low-walkable suburbs matched…

  2. Evaluation of the neighborhood environment walkability scale in Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The development of reliable and culturally sensitive measures of attributes of the built and social environment is necessary for accurate analysis of environmental correlates of physical activity in low-income countries, that can inform international evidence-based policies and interventions in the worldwide prevention of physical inactivity epidemics. This study systematically adapted the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) for Nigeria and evaluated aspects of reliability and validity of the adapted version among Nigerian adults. Methods The adaptation of the NEWS was conducted by African and international experts, and final items were selected for NEWS-Nigeria after a cross-validation of the confirmatory factor analysis structure of the original NEWS. Participants (N = 386; female = 47.2%) from two cities in Nigeria completed the adapted NEWS surveys regarding perceived residential density, land use mix – diversity, land use mix – access, street connectivity, infrastructure and safety for walking and cycling, aesthetics, traffic safety, and safety from crime. Self-reported activity for leisure, walking for different purposes, and overall physical activity were assessed with the validated International Physical Activity Questionnaire (long version). Results The adapted NEWS subscales had moderate to high test-retest reliability (ICC range 0.59 –0.91). Construct validity was good, with residents of high-walkable neighborhoods reporting significantly higher residential density, more land use mix diversity, higher street connectivity, more traffic safety and more safety from crime, but lower infrastructure and safety for walking/cycling and aesthetics than residents of low-walkable neighborhoods. Concurrent validity correlations were low to moderate (r = 0.10 –0.31) with residential density, land use mix diversity, and traffic safety significantly associated with most physical activity outcomes. Conclusions The NEWS

  3. Healthy Neighborhoods: Walkability and Air Pollution

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Julian D.; Brauer, Michael; Frank, Lawrence D.

    2009-01-01

    Background The built environment may influence health in part through the promotion of physical activity and exposure to pollution. To date, no studies have explored interactions between neighborhood walkability and air pollution exposure. Methods We estimated concentrations of nitric oxide (NO), a marker for direct vehicle emissions), and ozone (O3) and a neighborhood walkability score, for 49,702 (89% of total) postal codes in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. NO concentrations were estimated from a land-use regression model, O3 was estimated from ambient monitoring data; walkability was calculated based on geographic attributes such as land-use mix, street connectivity, and residential density. Results All three attributes exhibit an urban–rural gradient, with high walkability and NO concentrations, and low O3 concentrations, near the city center. Lower-income areas tend to have higher NO concentrations and walkability and lower O3 concentrations. Higher-income areas tend to have lower pollution (NO and O3). “Sweet-spot” neighborhoods (low pollution, high walkability) are generally located near but not at the city center and are almost exclusively higher income. Policy implications Increased concentration of activities in urban settings yields both health costs and benefits. Our research identifies neighborhoods that do especially well (and especially poorly) for walkability and air pollution exposure. Work is needed to ensure that the poor do not bear an undue burden of urban air pollution and that neighborhoods designed for walking, bicycling, or mass transit do not adversely affect resident’s exposure to air pollution. Analyses presented here could be replicated in other cities and tracked over time to better understand interactions among neighborhood walkability, air pollution exposure, and income level. PMID:20049128

  4. Social Capital and the Built Environment: The Importance of Walkable Neighborhoods

    PubMed Central

    Leyden, Kevin M.

    2003-01-01

    Objectives. I sought to examine whether pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use neighborhoods encourage enhanced levels of social and community engagement (i.e., social capital). Methods. The study investigated the relationship between neighborhood design and individual levels of social capital. Data were obtained from a household survey that measured the social capital of citizens living in neighborhoods that ranged from traditional, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented designs to modern, car-dependent suburban subdivisions in Galway, Ireland. Results. The analyses indicate that persons living in walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods have higher levels of social capital compared with those living in car-oriented suburbs. Respondents living in walkable neighborhoods were more likely to know their neighbors, participate politically, trust others, and be socially engaged. Conclusions. Walkable, mixed-use neighborhood designs can encourage the development of social capital. PMID:12948978

  5. Interactions between Neighborhood Social Environment and Walkability to Explain Belgian Older Adults' Physical Activity and Sedentary Time.

    PubMed

    Van Holle, Veerle; Van Cauwenberg, Jelle; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse; Deforche, Benedicte; Van de Weghe, Nico; Van Dyck, Delfien

    2016-01-01

    This study examined associations between neighborhood social factors and physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) in older adults. Furthermore, possible moderating effects of neighborhood walkability were explored. Data from 431 community-dwelling Belgian older adults (≥65 years) were analyzed. Neighborhood social factors included measures of neighboring, social trust and cohesion and social diversity. Neighborhood walkability was measured objectively. Outcome measures were self-reported weekly minutes of domain-specific walking and TV viewing, and accelerometer-assessed weekly minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and overall SB. A higher frequency of talking to neighbors was associated with higher levels of self-reported walking for transport and for recreation. Moderation analyses showed that only in highly-walkable neighborhoods, higher social diversity of the neighborhood environment was associated with more transport walking; and talking to neighbors and social interactions among neighbors were negatively associated with overall SB and television viewing, respectively. Findings suggest that a combination of a favorable neighborhood social and physical environment are important to promote older adults' PA and limit SB. PMID:27338426

  6. Interactions between Neighborhood Social Environment and Walkability to Explain Belgian Older Adults’ Physical Activity and Sedentary Time

    PubMed Central

    Van Holle, Veerle; Van Cauwenberg, Jelle; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse; Deforche, Benedicte; Van de Weghe, Nico; Van Dyck, Delfien

    2016-01-01

    This study examined associations between neighborhood social factors and physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) in older adults. Furthermore, possible moderating effects of neighborhood walkability were explored. Data from 431 community-dwelling Belgian older adults (≥65 years) were analyzed. Neighborhood social factors included measures of neighboring, social trust and cohesion and social diversity. Neighborhood walkability was measured objectively. Outcome measures were self-reported weekly minutes of domain-specific walking and TV viewing, and accelerometer-assessed weekly minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and overall SB. A higher frequency of talking to neighbors was associated with higher levels of self-reported walking for transport and for recreation. Moderation analyses showed that only in highly-walkable neighborhoods, higher social diversity of the neighborhood environment was associated with more transport walking; and talking to neighbors and social interactions among neighbors were negatively associated with overall SB and television viewing, respectively. Findings suggest that a combination of a favorable neighborhood social and physical environment are important to promote older adults’ PA and limit SB. PMID:27338426

  7. Adaptation and Evaluation of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale in India (NEWS-India).

    PubMed

    Adlakha, Deepti; Hipp, J Aaron; Brownson, Ross C

    2016-04-01

    Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, with most of these deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) like India. Research from developed countries has consistently demonstrated associations between built environment features and physical activity levels of populations. The development of culturally sensitive and reliable measures of the built environment is a necessary first step for accurate analysis of environmental correlates of physical activity in LMICs. This study systematically adapted the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) for India and evaluated aspects of test-retest reliability of the adapted version among Indian adults. Cultural adaptation of the NEWS was conducted by Indian and international experts. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with local residents and key informants in the city of Chennai, India. At baseline, participants (N = 370; female = 47.2%) from Chennai completed the adapted NEWS-India surveys on perceived residential density, land use mix-diversity, land use mix-access, street connectivity, infrastructure and safety for walking and cycling, aesthetics, traffic safety, and safety from crime. NEWS-India was administered for a second time to consenting participants (N = 62; female = 53.2%) with a gap of 2-3 weeks between successive administrations. Qualitative findings demonstrated that built environment barriers and constraints to active commuting and physical activity behaviors intersected with social ecological systems. The adapted NEWS subscales had moderate to high test-retest reliability (ICC range 0.48-0.99). The NEWS-India demonstrated acceptable measurement properties among Indian adults and may be a useful tool for evaluation of built environment attributes in India. Further adaptation and evaluation in rural and suburban settings in India is essential to create a version that could be used throughout India. PMID:27049394

  8. Adaptation and Evaluation of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale in India (NEWS-India)

    PubMed Central

    Adlakha, Deepti; Hipp, J. Aaron; Brownson, Ross C.

    2016-01-01

    Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, with most of these deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) like India. Research from developed countries has consistently demonstrated associations between built environment features and physical activity levels of populations. The development of culturally sensitive and reliable measures of the built environment is a necessary first step for accurate analysis of environmental correlates of physical activity in LMICs. This study systematically adapted the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) for India and evaluated aspects of test-retest reliability of the adapted version among Indian adults. Cultural adaptation of the NEWS was conducted by Indian and international experts. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with local residents and key informants in the city of Chennai, India. At baseline, participants (N = 370; female = 47.2%) from Chennai completed the adapted NEWS-India surveys on perceived residential density, land use mix-diversity, land use mix-access, street connectivity, infrastructure and safety for walking and cycling, aesthetics, traffic safety, and safety from crime. NEWS-India was administered for a second time to consenting participants (N = 62; female = 53.2%) with a gap of 2–3 weeks between successive administrations. Qualitative findings demonstrated that built environment barriers and constraints to active commuting and physical activity behaviors intersected with social ecological systems. The adapted NEWS subscales had moderate to high test-retest reliability (ICC range 0.48–0.99). The NEWS-India demonstrated acceptable measurement properties among Indian adults and may be a useful tool for evaluation of built environment attributes in India. Further adaptation and evaluation in rural and suburban settings in India is essential to create a version that could be used throughout India. PMID:27049394

  9. Cross-validation of the factorial structure of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) and its abbreviated form (NEWS-A)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) and its abbreviated form (NEWS-A) assess perceived environmental attributes believed to influence physical activity. A multilevel confirmatory factor analysis (MCFA) conducted on a sample from Seattle, WA, showed that, at the respondent level, th...

  10. A Disadvantaged Advantage in Walkability: Findings from Socioeconomic and Geographic Analysis of National Built Environment Data in the United States.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Urban form-the structure of the built environment-can influence physical activity, yet little is known about how walkable design differs according to neighborhood sociodemographic composition. We studied how walkable urban form varies by neighborhood sociodemographic composition,...

  11. Neighborhood Preference, Walkability and Walking in Overweight/Obese Men

    PubMed Central

    Norman, Gregory J.; Carlson, Jordan A.; O’Mara, Stephanie; Sallis, James F.; Patrick, Kevin; Frank, Lawrence D.; Godbole, Suneeta V.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To investigate whether self-selection moderated the effects of walkability on walking in overweight and obese men. Methods 240 overweight and obese men completed measures on importance of walkability when choosing a neighborhood (selection) and preference for walkable features in general (preference). IPAQ measured walking. A walkbility index was derived from geographic information systems (GIS). Results Walkability was associated with walking for transportation (p = .027) and neighborhood selection was associated with walking for transportation (p = .002) and total walking (p = .001). Preference was associated with leisure walking (p = .045) and preference moderated the relationship between walkability and total walking (p = .059). Conclusion Walkability and self-selection are both important to walking behavior. PMID:23026109

  12. Neighborhood walkability, physical activity, and walking behavior: the Swedish Neighborhood and Physical Activity (SNAP) study.

    PubMed

    Sundquist, Kristina; Eriksson, Ulf; Kawakami, Naomi; Skog, Lars; Ohlsson, Henrik; Arvidsson, Daniel

    2011-04-01

    More knowledge concerning the association between physical activity and objectively measured attributes of the built environment is needed. Previous studies on the association between objectively measured neighborhood walkability, physical activity, and walking have been conducted in the U.S. or Australia and research findings are available from only one country in Europe - Belgium. The first aim of this Swedish study of 2269 adults was to examine the associations between neighborhood walkability and walking for active transportation or leisure, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and whether these hypothesized associations are moderated by age, gender, income, marital status and neighborhood-level socioeconomic status. The second aim was to determine how much of the total variance of the walking and physical activity outcomes can be attributed to neighborhood-level differences. Neighborhood walkability was objectively measured by GIS methods. An index consisting of residential density, street connectivity, and land use mix was constructed to define 32 highly and less walkable neighborhoods in Stockholm City. MVPA was measured objectively during 7 days with an accelerometer and walking was assessed using the validated International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Multilevel linear as well as logistic models (mixed-effects, mixed-distribution models) were used in the analysis. The statistically significant and "adjusted" results for individuals living in highly walkable neighborhoods, as compared to those living in less walkable neighborhoods, were: (1) 77% and 28% higher odds for walking for active transportation and walking for leisure, respectively, (2) 50 min more walking for active transportation/week, and (3) 3.1 min more MVPA/day. The proportion of the total variance at the neighborhood level was low and ranged between 0.0% and 2.1% in the adjusted models. The findings of the present study stress that future policies concerning the

  13. Assessing Built Environment Walkability using Activity-Space Summary Measures

    PubMed Central

    Tribby, Calvin P.; Miller, Harvey J.; Brown, Barbara B.; Werner, Carol M.; Smith, Ken R.

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing emphasis on active transportation, such as walking, in transportation planning as a sustainable form of mobility and in public health as a means of achieving recommended physical activity and better health outcomes. A research focus is the influence of the built environment on walking, with the ultimate goal of identifying environmental modifications that invite more walking. However, assessments of the built environment for walkability are typically at a spatially disaggregate level (such as street blocks) or at a spatially aggregate level (such as census block groups). A key issue is determining the spatial units for walkability measures so that they reflect potential walking behavior. This paper develops methods for assessing walkability within individual activity spaces: the geographic region accessible to an individual during a given walking trip. We first estimate street network-based activity spaces using the shortest path between known trip starting/ending points and a travel time budget that reflects potential alternative paths. Based on objective walkability measures of the street blocks, we use three summary measures for walkability within activity spaces: i) the average walkability score across block segments (representing the general level of walkability in the activity space); ii) the standard deviation (representing the walkability variation), and; iii) the network autocorrelation (representing the spatial coherence of the walkability pattern). We assess the method using data from an empirical study of built environment walkability and walking behavior in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. We visualize and map these activity space summary measures to compare walkability among individuals’ trips within their neighborhoods. We also compare summary measures for activity spaces versus census block groups, with the result that they agree less than half of the time. PMID:27213027

  14. An assessment of the walkability of two school neighborhoods in Greenville, North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Seagle, Heather M; Moore, Justin B; DuBose, Katrina D

    2008-01-01

    Walking to school provides the opportunity for increasing physical activity and for improving weight status in youth. Social ecological theory recognizes the link between supportive built environments and increased walking. To promote walking to school as a way to increase physical activity in youth, it is important to begin by assessing the presence and quality of sidewalks in school neighborhoods and then to advocate for improvements. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the assessment of the walkability of two school neighborhood areas, using an evaluation process, which is designed for use by lay community members, that produces maps to disseminate the assessment findings to decision makers. A validated and reliable audit instrument was used to assess the walkability of 114 road segments in the immediately adjacent student enrollment areas surrounding two elementary schools. Ten variables characterizing the transportation and pedestrian environment were measured and used to calculate a walkability score for each road segment. Color-coded maps of the walkability scores for each road segment were created to display the patterns of walkability. Sidewalks were absent in 67 percent and 75 percent of the road segments surrounding the two schools, respectively. The maps reveal that the very few suitable roads for walking are isolated by networks of streets with no sidewalks. PMID:18408539

  15. Neighborhood walkability and active travel (walking and cycling) in New York City.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Lance; Neckerman, Kathryn; Schwartz-Soicher, Ofira; Quinn, James; Richards, Catherine; Bader, Michael D M; Lovasi, Gina; Jack, Darby; Weiss, Christopher; Konty, Kevin; Arno, Peter; Viola, Deborah; Kerker, Bonnie; Rundle, Andrew G

    2013-08-01

    Urban planners have suggested that built environment characteristics can support active travel (walking and cycling) and reduce sedentary behavior. This study assessed whether engagement in active travel is associated with neighborhood walkability measured for zip codes in New York City. Data were analyzed on engagement in active travel and the frequency of walking or biking ten blocks or more in the past month, from 8,064 respondents to the New York City 2003 Community Health Survey (CHS). A neighborhood walkability scale that measures: residential, intersection, and subway stop density; land use mix; and the ratio of retail building floor area to retail land area was calculated for each zip code. Data were analyzed using zero-inflated negative binomial regression incorporating survey sample weights and adjusting for respondents' sociodemographic characteristics. Overall, 44 % of respondents reported no episodes of active travel and among those who reported any episode, the mean number was 43.2 episodes per month. Comparing the 75th to the 25th percentile of zip code walkability, the odds ratio for reporting zero episodes of active travel was 0.71 (95 % CI 0.61, 0.83) and the exponentiated beta coefficient for the count of episodes of active travel was 1.13 (95 % CI 1.06, 1.21). Associations between lower walkability and reporting zero episodes of active travel were significantly stronger for non-Hispanic Whites as compared to non-Hispanic Blacks and to Hispanics and for those living in higher income zip codes. The results suggest that neighborhood walkability is associated with higher engagement in active travel. PMID:22941058

  16. Moving to a Highly Walkable Neighborhood and Incidence of Hypertension: A Propensity-Score Matched Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Maria; Rezai, Mohammad-Reza; Maclagan, Laura C.; Austin, Peter C.; Shah, Baiju R.; Redelmeier, Donald A.; Tu, Jack V.

    2015-01-01

    Background: The impact of moving to a neighborhood more conducive to utilitarian walking on the risk of incident hypertension is uncertain. Objective: Our study aimed to examine the effect of moving to a highly walkable neighborhood on the risk of incident hypertension. Methods: A population-based propensity-score matched cohort study design was used based on the Ontario population from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2001–2010). Participants were adults ≥ 20 years of age who moved from a low-walkability neighborhood (defined as any neighborhood with a Walk Score < 90) to either a high- (Walk Score ≥ 90) or another low-walkability neighborhood. The incidence of hypertension was assessed by linking the cohort to administrative health databases using a validated algorithm. Propensity-score matched Cox proportional hazard models were used. Annual health examination was used as a control event. Results: Among the 1,057 propensity-score matched pairs there was a significantly lower risk of incident hypertension in the low to high vs. the low to low-walkability groups [hazard ratio = 0.46; 95% CI, 0.26, 0.81, p < 0.01]. The crude hypertension incidence rates were 18.0 per 1,000 person-years (95% CI: 11.6, 24.8) among the low- to low-walkability movers compared with 8.6 per 1,000 person-years (95% CI: 5.3, 12.7) among the low- to high-walkability movers (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the hazard of annual health examination between the two mover groups. Conclusions: Moving to a highly walkable neighborhood was associated with a significantly lower risk of incident hypertension. Future research should assess whether specific attributes of walkable neighborhoods (e.g., amenities, density, land-use mix) may be driving this relationship. Citation: Chiu M, Rezai MR, Maclagan LC, Austin PC, Shah BR, Redelmeier DA, Tu JV. 2016. Moving to a highly walkable neighborhood and incidence of hypertension: a propensity-score matched cohort study

  17. Validation of walk score for estimating neighborhood walkability: an analysis of four US metropolitan areas.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Dustin T; Aldstadt, Jared; Whalen, John; Melly, Steven J; Gortmaker, Steven L

    2011-11-01

    Neighborhood walkability can influence physical activity. We evaluated the validity of Walk Score(®) for assessing neighborhood walkability based on GIS (objective) indicators of neighborhood walkability with addresses from four US metropolitan areas with several street network buffer distances (i.e., 400-, 800-, and 1,600-meters). Address data come from the YMCA-Harvard After School Food and Fitness Project, an obesity prevention intervention involving children aged 5-11 years and their families participating in YMCA-administered, after-school programs located in four geographically diverse metropolitan areas in the US (n = 733). GIS data were used to measure multiple objective indicators of neighborhood walkability. Walk Scores were also obtained for the participant's residential addresses. Spearman correlations between Walk Scores and the GIS neighborhood walkability indicators were calculated as well as Spearman correlations accounting for spatial autocorrelation. There were many significant moderate correlations between Walk Scores and the GIS neighborhood walkability indicators such as density of retail destinations and intersection density (p < 0.05). The magnitude varied by the GIS indicator of neighborhood walkability. Correlations generally became stronger with a larger spatial scale, and there were some geographic differences. Walk Score(®) is free and publicly available for public health researchers and practitioners. Results from our study suggest that Walk Score(®) is a valid measure of estimating certain aspects of neighborhood walkability, particularly at the 1600-meter buffer. As such, our study confirms and extends the generalizability of previous findings demonstrating that Walk Score is a valid measure of estimating neighborhood walkability in multiple geographic locations and at multiple spatial scales. PMID:22163200

  18. Neighborhood walkability, deprivation and incidence of type 2 diabetes: a population-based study on 512,061 Swedish adults

    PubMed Central

    Sundquist, Kristina; Eriksson, Ulf; Mezuk, Briana; Ohlsson, Henrik

    2014-01-01

    Neighborhood walkability has been associated with increased physical activity, but only a few studies have explored the association between walkability and health outcomes related to physical activity, such as type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between objectively assessed neighborhood walkability and the 4-year incidence of type 2 diabetes in a sample of 512,061 Swedish adults aged 18 years and older. Neighborhoods were defined by 408 administratively defined geographical areas in the city of Stockholm. We found a negative association between walkability and type 2 diabetes (OR=1.33, 95% CI=1.13–1.55) that remained significant after adjusting for neighborhood deprivation. This association, however, no longer remained statistically significant after adjusting for individual socio-demographic factors. These results were also confirmed using a co-sibling design. Future studies are encouraged to further explore the potential effect of a broader array of the neighborhood built environment on health outcomes related to physical activity. PMID:25463914

  19. A Disadvantaged Advantage in Walkability: Findings From Socioeconomic and Geographical Analysis of National Built Environment Data in the United States

    PubMed Central

    King, Katherine E.; Clarke, Philippa J.

    2015-01-01

    Urban form—the structure of the built environment—can influence physical activity, yet little is known about how walkable design differs according to neighborhood sociodemographic composition. We studied how walkable urban form varies by neighborhood sociodemographic composition, region, and urbanicity across the United States. Using linear regression models and 2000–2001 US Census data, we investigated the relationship between 5 neighborhood census characteristics (income, education, racial/ethnic composition, age distribution, and sex) and 5 walkability indicators in almost 65,000 census tracts in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Data on the built environment were obtained from the RAND Corporation's (Santa Monica, California) Center for Population Health and Health Disparities (median block length, street segment, and node density) and the US Geological Survey's National Land Cover Database (proportion open space and proportion highly developed). Disadvantaged neighborhoods and those with more educated residents were more walkable (i.e., shorter block length, greater street node density, more developed land use, and higher density of street segments). However, tracts with a higher proportion of children and older adults were less walkable (fewer street nodes and lower density of street segments), after adjustment for region and level of urbanicity. Research and policy on the walkability-health link should give nuanced attention to the gap between persons living in walkable areas and those for whom walkability has the most to offer. PMID:25414159

  20. ATTRIBUTES OF FORM IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT THAT INFLUENCE PERCEIVED WALKABILITY

    PubMed Central

    Oreskovic, Nicolas M.; Charles, Pablina Roth Suzanne Lanyi; Shepherd, Dido Tsigaridi Kathrine; Nelson, Kerrie P.; Bar, Moshe

    2014-01-01

    A recent focus of design and building regulations, including form-based codes and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development rating system, has been on promoting pedestrian activity. This study assessed perceptions of walkability for residential and commercial streetscapes with different design attributes in order to inform form-based regulations and codes that aim to impact walkability. We scored 424 images on four design attributes purported to influence walkability: variation in building height, variation in building plane, presence of ground-floor windows, and presence of a street focal point. We then presented the images to 45 adults, who were asked to rate the images for walkability. The results showed that perceived walkability varied according to the degree to which a particular design attribute was present, with the presence of ground-floor windows and a street focal point most consistently associated with a space's perceived walkability. Understanding if and which design attributes are most related to walkability could allow planners and developers to focus on the most salient built-environment features influencing physical activity, as well as provide empirical scientific evidence for form-based regulations and zoning codes aimed at impacting walkabilit. PMID:25554719

  1. Cross Sectional Association between Spatially Measured Walking Bouts and Neighborhood Walkability.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Liang-Dar; Hurvitz, Philip M; Duncan, Glen E

    2016-04-01

    Walking is the most popular choice of aerobic physical activity to improve health among U.S. adults. Physical characteristics of the home neighborhood can facilitate or hinder walking. The purpose of this study was to quantify neighborhood walking, using objective methods and to examine the association between counts of walking bouts in the home neighborhood and neighborhood walkability. This was a cross-sectional study of 106 adults who wore accelerometers and GPS devices for two weeks. Walking was quantified within 1, 2, and 3 km Euclidean (straight-line) and network buffers around the geocoded home location. Walkability was estimated using a commercially available index. Walking bout counts increased with buffer size and were associated with walkability, regardless of buffer type or size (p < 0.001). Quantification of walking bouts within (and outside) of pre-defined neighborhood buffers of different sizes and types allowed for the specification of walking locations to better describe and elucidate walking behaviors. These data support the concept that neighborhood characteristics can influence walking among adults. PMID:27070633

  2. Cross Sectional Association between Spatially Measured Walking Bouts and Neighborhood Walkability

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Liang-Dar; Hurvitz, Philip M.; Duncan, Glen E.

    2016-01-01

    Walking is the most popular choice of aerobic physical activity to improve health among U.S. adults. Physical characteristics of the home neighborhood can facilitate or hinder walking. The purpose of this study was to quantify neighborhood walking, using objective methods and to examine the association between counts of walking bouts in the home neighborhood and neighborhood walkability. This was a cross-sectional study of 106 adults who wore accelerometers and GPS devices for two weeks. Walking was quantified within 1, 2, and 3 km Euclidean (straight-line) and network buffers around the geocoded home location. Walkability was estimated using a commercially available index. Walking bout counts increased with buffer size and were associated with walkability, regardless of buffer type or size (p < 0.001). Quantification of walking bouts within (and outside) of pre-defined neighborhood buffers of different sizes and types allowed for the specification of walking locations to better describe and elucidate walking behaviors. These data support the concept that neighborhood characteristics can influence walking among adults. PMID:27070633

  3. Neighborhood Walkable Urban Form and C-Reactive Protein

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background: Walkable urban form predicts physical activity and lower body mass index, which lower C-reactive protein (CRP). However, urban form is also related to pollution, noise, social and health behavior, crowding, and other stressors, which may complement or contravene walka...

  4. Neighborhood walkability, fear and risk of falling and response to walking promotion: The Easy Steps to Health 12-month randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Merom, D.; Gebel, K.; Fahey, P.; Astell-Burt, T.; Voukelatos, A.; Rissel, C.; Sherrington, C.

    2015-01-01

    In older adults the relationships between health, fall-related risk factors, perceived neighborhood walkability, walking behavior and intervention impacts are poorly understood. To determine whether: i) health and fall-related risk factors were associated with perceptions of neighborhood walkability; ii) perceived environmental attributes, and fall-related risk factors predicted change in walking behavior at 12 months; and iii) perceived environmental attributes and fall-related risk factors moderated the effect of a self-paced walking program on walking behavior. Randomized trial on walking and falls conducted between 2009 and 2012 involving 315 community-dwelling inactive adults ≥ 65 years living in Sydney, Australia. Measures were: mobility status, fall history, injurious fall and fear of falling (i.e., fall-related risk factors), health status, walking self-efficacy and 11 items from the neighborhood walkability scale and planned walking ≥ 150 min/week at 12 months. Participants with poorer mobility, fear of falling, and poor health perceived their surroundings as less walkable. Walking at 12 months was significantly greater in “less greenery” (AOR = 3.3, 95% CI: 1.11–9.98) and “high traffic” (AOR = 1.98, 95% CI: 1.00–3.91) neighborhoods. The intervention had greater effects in neighborhoods perceived to have poorer pedestrian infrastructure (p for interaction = 0.036). Low perceived walkability was shaped by health status and did not appear to be a barrier to walking behavior. There appears to be a greater impact of, and thus, need for, interventions to encourage walking in environments perceived not to have supportive walking infrastructure. Future studies on built environments and walking should gather information on fall-related risk factors to better understand how these characteristics interact. PMID:26844140

  5. Aging in Neighborhoods Differing in Walkability and Income: Associations with Physical Activity and Obesity in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    King, Abby C.; Sallis, James F.; Frank, Lawrence D.; Saelens, Brian E.; Cain, Kelli; Conway, Terry L.; Chapman, James E.; Ahn, David K.; Kerr, Jacqueline

    2011-01-01

    While there is a growing literature on the relations between neighborhood design and health factors such as physical activity and obesity, less focus has been placed on older adults, who may be particularly vulnerable to environmental influences. This study evaluates the relations among objectively measured neighborhood design, mobility impairment, and physical activity and body weight in two U.S. regional samples of community dwelling older adults living in neighborhoods differing in walkability and income levels. An observational design involving two time points six months apart was employed between 2005–2008. U.S. Census block groups in Seattle-King County, Washington and Baltimore. Maryland-Washington DC regions were selected via geographic information systems to maximize variability in walkability and income. Participants were 719 adults ages 66 years and older who were able to complete surveys in English and walk at least 10 feet continuously. Measurements included reported walking or bicycling for errands (i.e., transport activity) and other outdoor aerobic activities measured via the CHAMPS questionnaire: accelerometry-based moderate-to-vigorous physical activity; reported body mass index; and reported lower-extremity mobility impairment measured via the Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument. Across regions, time, and neighborhood income, older adults living in more walkable neighborhoods had more transport activity and moderate-to- vigorous physical activity and lower body mass index relative to those living in less walkable neighborhoods. The most mobility-impaired adults living in more walkable neighborhoods reported transport activity levels that were similar to less mobility-impaired adults living in less walkable neighborhoods. The results add to the small literature aimed at understanding how neighborhood design may influence physical activity and related aspects of health linked with day-to-day function and independence as people age. PMID

  6. Perceived and Objective Measures of Neighborhood Walkability and Physical Activity among Adults in Japan: A Multilevel Analysis of a Nationally Representative Sample

    PubMed Central

    Hanibuchi, Tomoya; Nakaya, Tomoki; Yonejima, Mayuko; Honjo, Kaori

    2015-01-01

    Although associations between a person’s neighborhood and their health have been studied internationally, most studies have been limited to a few cities or towns. Therefore, we used a nationally representative sample to explore whether perceived and objective neighborhood walkability was associated with the physical activity of residents. Data were analyzed from the Japanese General Social Surveys of 2010 (n = 2395; 1114 men and 1281 women). Perceived walkability was scored using factor analysis for the respondents’ perceptions of neighborhood conditions, while objective walkability was measured using the geographic information system approach. Finally, multilevel logistic regression analysis was performed to examine whether neighborhood walkability was associated with the frequency of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) among respondents. We found that perceived walkability was positively associated with the frequency of LTPA (odds ratio of the highest quartile was 1.53 (1.14–2.05) compared with the lowest quartile); however, objective walkability showed no association. When stratified by gender, an association between perceived walkability and LTPA was observed among women, but only a marginally significant association was present between objective walkability and LTPA among men. We conclude that the association between neighborhood walkability and LTPA can be partially generalized across Japan. PMID:26512682

  7. Using simple agent-based modeling to inform and enhance neighborhood walkability

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods with proximal destinations and services encourage walking and decrease car dependence, thereby contributing to more active and healthier communities. Proximity to key destinations and services is an important aspect of the urban design decision making process, particularly in areas adopting a transit-oriented development (TOD) approach to urban planning, whereby densification occurs within walking distance of transit nodes. Modeling destination access within neighborhoods has been limited to circular catchment buffers or more sophisticated network-buffers generated using geoprocessing routines within geographical information systems (GIS). Both circular and network-buffer catchment methods are problematic. Circular catchment models do not account for street networks, thus do not allow exploratory ‘what-if’ scenario modeling; and network-buffering functionality typically exists within proprietary GIS software, which can be costly and requires a high level of expertise to operate. Methods This study sought to overcome these limitations by developing an open-source simple agent-based walkable catchment tool that can be used by researchers, urban designers, planners, and policy makers to test scenarios for improving neighborhood walkable catchments. A simplified version of an agent-based model was ported to a vector-based open source GIS web tool using data derived from the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN). The tool was developed and tested with end-user stakeholder working group input. Results The resulting model has proven to be effective and flexible, allowing stakeholders to assess and optimize the walkability of neighborhood catchments around actual or potential nodes of interest (e.g., schools, public transport stops). Users can derive a range of metrics to compare different scenarios modeled. These include: catchment area versus circular buffer ratios; mean number of streets crossed; and

  8. Quasi-causal associations of physical activity and neighborhood walkability with body mass index: A twin study

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Glen E.; Cash, Stephanie Whisnant; Horn, Erin E.; Turkheimer, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Objective Physical activity, neighborhood walkability, and body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) associations were tested using quasi-experimental twin methods. We hypothesized that physical activity and walkability were independently associated with BMI within twin pairs, controlling for genetic and environmental background shared between them. Methods Data were from 6,376 (64% female; 58% identical) same-sex pairs, University of Washington Twin Registry, 2008–2013. Neighborhood walking, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and BMI were self-reported. Residential address was used to calculate walkability. Phenotypic (non-genetically informed) and biometric (genetically informed) regression was employed, controlling for age, sex, and race. Results Walking and MVPA were associated with BMI in phenotypic analyses; associations were attenuated but significant in biometric analyses (Ps < 0.05). Walkability was not associated with BMI, however, was associated with walking (but not MVPA) in both phenotypic and biometric analyses (Ps < 0.05), with no attenuation accounting for shared genetic and environmental background. Conclusions The association between activity and BMI is largely due to shared genetic and environmental factors, but a significant causal relationship remains accounting for shared background. Although walkability is not associated with BMI, it is associated with neighborhood walking (but not MVPA) accounting for shared background, suggesting a causal relationship between them. PMID:25482422

  9. Running to the Store? The Relationship between Neighborhood Environments and the Risk of Obesity

    PubMed Central

    Zick, Cathleen; Smith, Ken R; Fan, Jessie X; Brown, Barbara B; Yamada, Ikuho; Kowaleski-Jones, Lori

    2009-01-01

    We expand the search for modifiable features of neighborhood environments that alter obesity risk in two ways. First, we examine residents’ access to neighborhood retail food options in combination with neighborhood features that facilitate physical activity. Second, we evaluate neighborhood features for both low income and non-low income neighborhoods (bottom quartile of median neighborhood income vs. the top three quartiles). Our analyses use data from the Utah Population Database merged with U.S. Census data and Dun & Bradstreet business data for Salt Lake County, Utah. Linear regressions for BMI and logistic regressions for the likelihood of being obese are estimated using various measures of the individual’s neighborhood food options and walkability features. As expected, walkability indicators of older neighborhoods and neighborhoods where a higher fraction of the population walks to work is related to a lower BMI/obesity risk, although the strength of the effects varies by neighborhood income. Surprisingly, the walkability indicator of neighborhoods with higher intersection density was linked to higher BMI/obesity risk. The expected inverse relationship between the walkability indicator of population density and BMI/obesity risk is found only in low income neighborhoods. We find a strong association between neighborhood retail food options and BMI/obesity risk with the magnitude of the effects again varying by neighborhood income. For individuals living in non-low income neighborhoods, having one or more convenience stores, full-service restaurants, or fast food restaurants is associated with reduced BMI/obesity risk, compared to having no neighborhood food outlets. The presence of at least one healthy grocery option in low income neighborhoods is also associated with a reduction in BMI/obesity risk relative to no food outlets. Finally, multiple food options within a neighborhood reduce BMI/obesity risk, relative to no food options, for individuals

  10. Characteristics of Walkable Built Environments and BMI z-Scores in Children: Evidence from a Large Electronic Health Record Database

    PubMed Central

    Sharifi, Mona; Melly, Steven J.; Marshall, Richard; Sequist, Thomas D.; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L.; Taveras, Elsie M.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Childhood obesity remains a prominent public health problem. Walkable built environments may prevent excess weight gain. Objectives: We examined the association of walkable built environment characteristics with body mass index (BMI) z-score among a large sample of children and adolescents. Methods: We used geocoded residential address data from electronic health records of 49,770 children and adolescents 4 to < 19 years of age seen at the 14 pediatric practices of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates from August 2011 through August 2012. We used eight geographic information system (GIS) variables to characterize walkable built environments. Outcomes were BMI z-score at the most recent visit and BMI z-score change from the earliest available (2008–2011) to the most recent (2011–2012) visit. Multivariable models were adjusted for child age, sex, race/ethnicity, and neighborhood median household income. Results: In multivariable cross-sectional models, living in closer proximity to recreational open space was associated with lower BMI z-score. For example, children who lived in closest proximity (quartile 1) to the nearest recreational open space had a lower BMI z-score (β = –0.06; 95% CI: –0.08, –0.03) compared with those living farthest away (quartile 4; reference). Living in neighborhoods with fewer recreational open spaces and less residential density, traffic density, sidewalk completeness, and intersection density were associated with higher cross-sectional BMI z-score and with an increase in BMI z-score over time. Conclusions: Overall, built environment characteristics that may increase walkability were associated with lower BMI z-scores in a large sample of children. Modifying existing built environments to make them more walkable may reduce childhood obesity. Citation: Duncan DT, Sharifi M, Melly SJ, Marshall R, Sequist TD, Rifas-Shiman SL, Taveras EM. 2014. Characteristics of walkable built environments and BMI z-scores in children

  11. Linking neighborhood characteristics to food insecurity in older adults: the role of perceived safety, social cohesion, and walkability.

    PubMed

    Chung, Wai Ting; Gallo, William T; Giunta, Nancy; Canavan, Maureen E; Parikh, Nina S; Fahs, Marianne C

    2012-06-01

    Among the 14.6% of American households experiencing food insecurity, approximately 2 million are occupied by older adults. Food insecurity among older adults has been linked to poor health, lower cognitive function, and poor mental health outcomes. While evidence of the association between individual or household-level factors and food insecurity has been documented, the role of neighborhood-level factors is largely understudied. This study uses data from a representative sample of 1,870 New York City senior center participants in 2008 to investigate the relationship between three neighborhood-level factors (walkability, safety, and social cohesion) and food insecurity among the elderly. Issues relating to food security were measured by three separate outcome measures: whether the participant had a concern about having enough to eat this past month (concern about food security), whether the participant was unable to afford food during the past year (insufficient food intake related to financial resources), and whether the participant experienced hunger in the past year related to not being able to leave home (mobility-related food insufficiency). Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression was performed for each measure of food insecurity. Results indicate that neighborhood walkability is an important correlate of mobility-related food insufficiency and concern about food insecurity, even after controlling the effects of other relevant factors. PMID:22160446

  12. Why the Neighborhood Social Environment Is Critical in Obesity Prevention.

    PubMed

    Suglia, Shakira F; Shelton, Rachel C; Hsiao, Amber; Wang, Y Claire; Rundle, Andrew; Link, Bruce G

    2016-02-01

    The continuing obesity epidemic in the USA calls for the examination of antecedents to the well-known risk factors of physical activity and diet. The neighborhood built environment has been extensively studied in relation to obesity noting an increased risk of development and prevalence of obesity in relation to numerous built environment characteristics (lack of green spaces, higher number of fast food restaurants, low walkability indices). The neighborhood social environment, however, has been less extensively studied but is perhaps an equally important component of the neighborhood environment. The neighborhood social environment, particularly constructs of social capital, collective efficacy, and crime, is associated with obesity among both adults and children. Several studies have identified physical activity as a potential pathway of the neighborhood social environment and obesity association. Further work on social networks and norms and residential segregation, as well as the examination of dietary behaviors and mental health as potential mediating pathways, is necessary. Given the existing evidence, intervening on the neighborhood social environment may prove to be an effective target for the prevention on obesity. Intervention studies that promote healthy behaviors and prevent obesity while addressing aspects of the neighborhood social environment are necessary to better identify targets for obesity prevention. PMID:26780582

  13. Objective measures of the built environment and physical activity in children: from walkability to moveability.

    PubMed

    Buck, Christoph; Tkaczick, Tobias; Pitsiladis, Yannis; De Bourdehaudhuij, Ilse; Reisch, Lucia; Ahrens, Wolfgang; Pigeot, Iris

    2015-02-01

    Features of the built environment that may influence physical activity (PA) levels are commonly captured using a so-called walkability index. Since such indices typically describe opportunities for walking in everyday life of adults, they might not be applicable to assess urban opportunities for PA in children. Particularly, the spatial availability of recreational facilities may have an impact on PA in children and should be additionally considered. We linked individual data of 400 2- to 9-year-old children recruited in the European IDEFICS study to geographic data of one German study region, based on individual network-dependent neighborhoods. Environmental features of the walkability concept and the availability of recreational facilities, i.e. playgrounds, green spaces, and parks, were measured. Relevant features were combined to a moveability index that should capture urban opportunities for PA in children. A gamma log-regression model was used to model linear and non-linear effects of individual variables on accelerometer-based moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) stratified by pre-school children (<6 years) and school children (≥6 years). Single environmental features and the resulting indices were separately included into the model to investigate the effect of each variable on MVPA. In school children, commonly used features such as residential density [Formula: see text], intersection density [Formula: see text], and public transit density [Formula: see text] showed a positive effect on MVPA, while land use mix revealed a negative effect on MVPA [Formula: see text]. In particular, playground density [Formula: see text] and density of public open spaces, i.e., playgrounds and parks combined [Formula: see text], showed positive effects on MVPA. However, availability of green spaces showed no effect on MVPA. Different moveability indices were constructed based on the walkability index accounting for the negative impact of land use mix. Moveability

  14. Walkable new urban LEED_Neighborhood-Development (LEED-ND) community design and children's physical activity: selection, environmental, or catalyst effects?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Interest is growing in physical activity-friendly community designs, but few tests exist of communities explicitly designed to be walkable. We test whether students living in a new urbanist community that is also a pilot LEED_ND (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Neighborhood Development) community have greater accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) across particular time periods compared to students from other communities. We test various time/place periods to see if the data best conform to one of three explanations for MVPA. Environmental effects suggest that MVPA occurs when individuals are exposed to activity-friendly settings; selection effects suggest that walkable community residents prefer MVPA, which leads to both their choice of a walkable community and their high levels of MVPA; catalyst effects occur when walking to school creates more MVPA, beyond the school commute, on schooldays but not weekends. Methods Fifth graders (n = 187) were sampled from two schools representing three communities: (1) a walkable community, Daybreak, designed with new urbanist and LEED-ND pilot design standards; (2) a mixed community (where students lived in a less walkable community but attended the walkable school so that part of the route to school was walkable), and (3) a less walkable community. Selection threats were addressed through controlling for parental preferences for their child to walk to school as well as comparing in-school MVPA for the walkable and mixed groups. Results Minutes of MVPA were tested with 3 × 2 (Community by Gender) analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs). Community walkability related to more MVPA during the half hour before and after school and, among boys only, more MVPA after school. Boys were more active than girls, except during the half hour after school. Students from the mixed and walkable communities--who attended the same school--had similar in-school MVPA levels, and community groups

  15. Neighborhood Environment Profiles Related to Physical Activity and Weight Status: A Latent Profile Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Marc A.; Sallis, James F.; Kerr, Jacqueline; Conway, Terry L.; Saelens, Brian E.; Frank, Lawrence D.; Norman, Gregory J.; Cain, Kelli L.

    2011-01-01

    Background Neighborhood built environments (BE) include combinations of co-existing stimuli influencing physical activity (PA). Dealing with numerous environmental variables and complexity presents a significant challenge. The current analysis explored whether a range of reported BE features associated with adults’ physical activity produced distinct multivariate patterns, and tested whether adults’ PA and body mass differed by BE profiles. Methods Participants (20-65 years, 48.2% female, 26% ethnic minority) were recruited between 2002-2005 from 32 neighborhoods from Seattle-King County, WA (N= 1,287) and Baltimore, MD - Washington, DC regions (N=912). Independent Latent Profile Analyses were conducted in each region with 11 environmental variables from the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale. Validity of the neighborhood profiles was examined by their relationship to PA (accelerometer-derived moderate-to-vigorous minutes/day, self-reported minutes/week of walking for transportation and leisure) and self-reported BMI using ANCOVA models. Results Neighborhood profiles for Seattle and Baltimore regions were visually similar, suggesting generalizability. High-walkable recreationally-dense neighborhoods differed significantly from other neighborhood types by as much as 13 MVPA minutes/day, almost 60 minutes/week of walking for transportation, and 75 minutes/week of leisure-time activity. Neighborhood profiles also differed significantly for BMI. Discussion These findings could help identify optimal patterns of environmental attributes that facilitate physical activity and improve weight status. PMID:21382400

  16. Neighbourhood vitality and physical activity among the elderly: The role of walkable environments on active ageing in Barcelona, Spain.

    PubMed

    Marquet, Oriol; Miralles-Guasch, Carme

    2015-06-01

    This study investigated whether neighbourhood vitality and walkability were associated with active ageing of the elderly. Immobility, activity engagement and physical activity were explored in relation with age, gender and walkability of the built environment. Number of trips per day and minutes spent on walking by the elderly were extracted from a broad travel survey with more than 12,000 CATI interviews and were compared across vital and non-vital urban environments. Results highlight the importance of vital environments for elderly active mobility as subpopulations residing in highly walkable neighbourhoods undertook more trips and spent more minutes walking than their counterparts. The results also suggest that the built environment has different effects in terms of gender, as elderly men were more susceptible to urban vitality than elderly women. PMID:25939073

  17. Neighborhood Environments and Objectively Measured Physical Activity in 11 Countries

    PubMed Central

    Cerin, Ester; Cain, Kelli L; Conway, Terry L; Dyck, Delfien Van; Hinckson, Erica; Schipperijn, Jasper; Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse De; Owen, Neville; Davey, Rachel C; Hino, Adriano Akira Ferreira; Mitáš, Josef; Orzanco-Garralda, Rosario; Salvo, Deborah; Sarmiento, Olga L; Christiansen, Lars B; Macfarlane, Duncan J; Schofield, Grant; Sallis, James F

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Environmental changes are potentially effective population-level physical activity (PA) promotion strategies. However, robust multi-site evidence to guide international action for developing activity-supportive environments is lacking. We estimated pooled associations of perceived environmental attributes with objectively-measured PA outcomes; between-site differences in such associations; and, the extent to which perceived environmental attributes explain between-site differences in PA. Methods This was a cross-sectional study conducted in 16 cities located in Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom, and USA. Participants were 6,968 adults residing in administrative units stratified by socio-economic status and transport-related walkability. Predictors were 10 perceived neighborhood environmental attributes. Outcome measures were accelerometry-assessed weekly minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and meeting the PA guidelines for cancer/weight gain prevention (420 min/week of MVPA). Results Most perceived neighborhood attributes were positively associated with the PA outcomes in the pooled, site-adjusted, single-predictor models. Associations were generalizable across geographical locations. Aesthetics and land use mix – access were significant predictors of both PA outcomes in the fully-adjusted models. Environmental attributes accounted for within-site variability in MVPA corresponding to a 3 min/d or 21 min/week standard deviation. Large between-site differences in PA outcomes were observed: 15.9% to 16.8% of these differences were explained by perceived environmental attributes. All neighborhood attributes were associated with between-site differences in the total effects of the perceived environment on PA outcomes. Conclusions Residents’ perceptions of neighborhood attributes that facilitate walking were positively associated with objectively-measured MVPA and meeting the guidelines

  18. Factorial Invariance of the Physical Activity Neighborhood Environment Survey Among Single vs. Multi-family Housing Residents

    PubMed Central

    O’Connor, Daniel P.; Adamus-Leach, Heather J.; Mama, Scherezade K.; Lee, Rebecca E.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Individual perceptions of one’s neighborhood environment influence decisions about physical activity (PA) participation. Differences between single-family housing neighborhoods vs. multi-family housing neighborhoods may affect perceptions and lead to varying responses on surveys designed to assess perceptions of the neighborhood environment for PA. This study tested the factorial invariance for the Physical Activity Neighborhood Environment Survey (PANES) between residents of single-family vs. multi-family housing neighborhoods. Method This study was a secondary data analysis of PANES ratings from African American and Hispanic or Latina women (n=324) who participated in the Health is Power study (NCI R01CA109403), a multi-site, community based trial to investigate the relationship between neighborhood factors and physical activity adoption and maintenance. Factorial invariance was tested using a series of nested confirmatory factor analysis models. Results The final model was a second-order factor structure with partial invariance of item intercepts. The second-order factor structure and the relationships of the PANES items to the first-order factors (Amenable, Unsafe, and Walkable) and of the first-order factors to the second-order factor (Environment) were invariant between the single-family and multi-family housing neighborhoods groups. Conclusion These findings support the construct validity of PANES, which can be considered valid for measuring neighborhood perceptions among residents of neighborhoods with different housing types. PMID:25751025

  19. Patterns of neighborhood environment attributes related to physical activity across 11 countries: a latent class analysis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Neighborhood environment studies of physical activity (PA) have been mainly single-country focused. The International Prevalence Study (IPS) presented a rare opportunity to examine neighborhood features across countries. The purpose of this analysis was to: 1) detect international neighborhood typologies based on participants’ response patterns to an environment survey and 2) to estimate associations between neighborhood environment patterns and PA. Methods A Latent Class Analysis (LCA) was conducted on pooled IPS adults (N=11,541) aged 18 to 64 years old (mean=37.5 ±12.8 yrs; 55.6% women) from 11 countries including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, Japan, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the U.S. This subset used the Physical Activity Neighborhood Environment Survey (PANES) that briefly assessed 7 attributes within 10–15 minutes walk of participants’ residences, including residential density, access to shops/services, recreational facilities, public transit facilities, presence of sidewalks and bike paths, and personal safety. LCA derived meaningful subgroups from participants’ response patterns to PANES items, and participants were assigned to neighborhood types. The validated short-form International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) measured likelihood of meeting the 150 minutes/week PA guideline. To validate derived classes, meeting the guideline either by walking or total PA was regressed on neighborhood types using a weighted generalized linear regression model, adjusting for gender, age and country. Results A 5-subgroup solution fitted the dataset and was interpretable. Neighborhood types were labeled, “Overall Activity Supportive (52% of sample)”, “High Walkable and Unsafe with Few Recreation Facilities (16%)”, “Safe with Active Transport Facilities (12%)”, “Transit and Shops Dense with Few Amenities (15%)”, and “Safe but Activity Unsupportive (5%)”. Country representation differed by

  20. Measuring the neighborhood environment: associations with young girls' energy intake and expenditure in a cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Neighborhood environments affect children's health outcomes. Observational methods used to assess neighborhoods can be categorized as indirect, intermediate, or direct. Direct methods, involving in-person audits of the neighborhoods conducted by trained observers, are recognized as an accurate representation of current neighborhood conditions. The authors investigated the associations of various neighborhood characteristics with young girls' diet and physical activity. Methods This study is based on a subset of participants in the Cohort Study of Young Girls' Nutrition, Environment and Transitions (CYGNET). In-person street audits were conducted within 215 girls' residential neighborhoods using a modified St. Louis Audit Tool. From the street audit data, exploratory factor analysis revealed five neighborhood scales: "mixed residential and commercial," "food and retail," "recreation," "walkability," and "physical disorder." A Neighborhood Deprivation Index was also derived from census data. The authors investigated if the five neighborhood scales and the Neighborhood Deprivation Index were associated with quartiles of total energy intake and expenditure (metabolic equivalent (MET) hours/week) at baseline, and whether any of these associations were modified by race/ethnicity. Results After adjustment for demographic characteristics, there was an inverse association between prevalence of "food and retail" destinations and total energy intake (for a one quartile increase, OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.74, 0.96). Positive associations were also observed between the "recreation" and "walkability" scales with physical activity among Hispanic/Latina girls (for a one quartile increase in MET, OR = 1.94, 95% CI 1.31, 2.88 for recreation; OR = 1.71, 95% CI 1.11, 2.63 for walkability). Among African-American girls, there was an inverse association between "physical disorder" and physical activity (OR = 0.31, 95% CI 0.12, 0.80). Conclusions These results suggest that

  1. Does change in the neighborhood environment prevent obesity in older women?

    PubMed Central

    Michael, Yvonne L.; Nagel, Corey; Gold, Rachel; Hillier, Teresa A.

    2014-01-01

    Neighborhood environment is consistently associated with obesity; changes to modifiable aspects of the neighborhood environment may curb the growth of obesity in the US and other developed nations. However, currently the majority of studies are cross-sectional and thus not appropriate for evaluating causality. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of a neighborhood-changing intervention on changes in obesity among older women. Over the past 30 years the Portland, Oregon metropolitan region has made significant investments in plans, regulatory structures, and public facilities to reduce sprawl and increase compact growth centers, transit-oriented development approaches, and green space. We used geocoded residential addresses to link data on land-use mix, public transit access, street connectivity, and access to green space from four time points between 1986–2004, with longitudinal data on body mass index (BMI) from a cohort of 2,003 community-dwelling women aged 66 years and older. Height and weight were measured at clinic visits. Women self-reported demographics, health habits, and chronic conditions, and self-rated their health. Neighborhood socioeconomic status was assessed from census data. Neighborhood walkability and access to green space improved over the 18-year study period. On average there was a non-significant mean weight loss in the cohort between baseline (mean age 72.6 years) and the study’s end (mean age 85.0 years). We observed no association between neighborhood built environment or change in built environment and BMI. Greater neighborhood socioeconomic status at baseline was independently associated with a healthier BMI at baseline, and protected against an age-related decline in BMI over time. BMI decreases with age reflect increased frailty, especially among older adults with complex morbidities. Future research should consider the influence of the neighborhood environment on additional relevant health outcomes and should include

  2. Neighborhood environment and physical activity among older adults: do the relationships differ by driving status?

    PubMed

    Ding, Ding; Sallis, James F; Norman, Gregory J; Frank, Lawrence D; Saelens, Brian E; Kerr, Jacqueline; Conway, Terry L; Cain, Kelli; Hovell, Melbourne F; Hofstetter, C Richard; King, Abby C

    2014-07-01

    Some attributes of neighborhood environments are associated with physical activity among older adults. This study examined whether the associations were moderated by driving status. Older adults from neighborhoods differing in walkability and income completed written surveys and wore accelerometers (N = 880, mean age = 75 years, 56% women). Neighborhood environments were measured by geographic information systems and validated questionnaires. Driving status was defined on the basis of a driver's license, car ownership, and feeling comfortable to drive. Outcome variables included accelerometer-based physical activity and self-reported transport and leisure walking. Multilevel generalized linear regression was used. There was no significant Neighborhood Attribute × Driving Status interaction with objective physical activity or reported transport walking. For leisure walking, almost all environmental attributes were positive and significant among driving older adults but not among nondriving older adults (five significant interactions at p < .05). The findings suggest that driving status is likely to moderate the association between neighborhood environments and older adults' leisure walking. PMID:24084049

  3. Where do they go and how do they get there? Older adults' travel behaviour in a highly walkable environment.

    PubMed

    Winters, Meghan; Voss, Christine; Ashe, Maureen C; Gutteridge, Kaitlyn; McKay, Heather; Sims-Gould, Joanie

    2015-05-01

    Mobility-the ability to move about in one's neighbourhood and maintain independence-is essential for older adults' wellbeing. Neighbourhood environments support or hinder mobility especially as health declines and physical vulnerability increases with age. Linkages between mobility and planning and policy are key to designing age-friendly neighbourhoods with destinations that encourage older adults to get out and be physically active. We describe the mobility of older adults who live in a highly walkable neighbourhood. Specifically, we address the questions of 'where do older adults go?' (destinations) and 'how they get there?' (travel mode, physical activity). We recruited older adults (age 60+) who live in Vancouver's downtown core, an area acknowledged to be highly walkable (Walk Score(®): 94-97/100), and who leave their houses most days of the week. Participants (n = 184) recorded travel in diaries and wore an ActiGraph GT3X + accelerometer for 7 days during September to October 2012. We classified reported destinations according to the North American Industry Classification System, and analysed mobility [trip rates (overall and walking), steps, moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA)] and associations between travel and physical activity-related mobility measures. Key destinations were grocery stores (13.6% of trips), restaurants (7.2%), malls/marketplaces (5.5%), and others' homes (5.4%). Participants made 4.6 (std: 2.5) one-way trips/day, took 7910.1 (3871.1) steps/day, and accrued 39.2 (32.9) minutes/day of MVPA. Two-thirds of trips were by active modes (62.8% walk, 3.2% bike) and 22.4% were by car. Trip rates were significantly associated with physical activity outcomes. Older adults living in highly walkable neighbourhoods were very mobile and frequently used active transportation. Travel destinations signify the importance of nearby commercial and social opportunities, even in a highly walkable environment. The high rates of active travel and

  4. Walkability for Different Urban Granularities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollenstein, D.; Bleisch, S.

    2016-06-01

    The positive effects of low-intensity physical activity are widely acknowledged and in this context walking is often promoted as an active form of transport. Under the concept of walkability the role of the built environment in encouraging walking is investigated. For that purpose, walkability is quantified area-wise by measuring a varying set of built environment attributes. In purely GIS-based approaches to studying walkability, indices are generally built using existing and easily accessible data. These include street network design, population density, land use mix, and access to destinations. Access to destinations is usually estimated using either a fixed radius, or distances in the street network. In this paper, two approaches to approximate a footpath network are presented. The two footpath networks were built making different assumptions regarding the walkability of different street types with respect to more or less restrictive safety preferences. Information on sidewalk presence, pedestrian crossings, and traffic restrictions were used to build both networks. The first network comprises car traffic free areas only. The second network includes streets with low speed limits that have no sidewalks. Both networks are compared to the more commonly used street network in an access-to-distance analysis. The results suggest that for the generally highly walkable study area, access to destination mostly depends on destination density within the defined walkable distance. However, on single street segments access to destinations is diminished when only car traffic free spaces are assumed to be walkable.

  5. Neighborhood Environment and Adherence to a Walking Intervention in African-American Women

    PubMed Central

    Zenk, Shannon N.; Wilbur, JoEllen; Wang, Edward; McDevitt, Judith; Oh, April; Block, Richard; McNeil, Sue; Savar, Nina

    2009-01-01

    This secondary analysis examined relationships between the environment and adherence to a walking intervention among 252 urban and suburban midlife African-American women. Participants received an enhanced or minimal behavioral intervention. Walking adherence was measured as the percentage of prescribed walks completed. Objective measures of the women’s neighborhoods included: walkability (land use mix, street intersection density, housing unit density, public transit stop density), aesthetics (physical deterioration, industrial land use), availability of outdoor (recreational open space) and indoor (recreation centers, shopping malls) walking facilities/spaces, and safety (violent crime incidents). Ordinary least squares regression estimated relationships. We found presence of one and especially both types of indoor walking facilities were associated with greater adherence. No associations were found between adherence and the other environmental variables. The effect of the enhanced intervention on adherence did not differ by environmental characteristics. Aspects of the environment may influence African-American women who want to be more active. PMID:18669878

  6. Walkable Communities and Adolescent Weight

    PubMed Central

    Slater, Sandy J.; Nicholson, Lisa; Chriqui, Jamie; Barker, Dianne; Chaloupka, Frank J.; Johnston, Lloyd D.

    2012-01-01

    Background Neighborhood design features have been associated with health outcomes, including the prevalence of obesity. Purpose This study examined the association between walkability and adolescent weight in a national sample of public secondary school students and the communities in which they live. Methods Data were collected through student surveys and community observations between February and August 2010, and analyses were conducted in Spring 2012. The sample size was 154 communities and 11,041 students. A community walkability index and measures of the prevalence of adolescent overweight and obesity were constructed. Multivariable analyses from a cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of 8th-, 10th- and 12th-grade public school students in the U.S. were run. Results The odds of students being overweight (OR 0.975; 95% CI=0.94, 0.99) or obese (OR 0.971; 95% CI=0.94, 0.99) decreased if they lived in communities with higher walkability index scores. Conclusions Results suggest that living in more-walkable communities is associated with reduced prevalence of adolescent overweight and obesity. PMID:23332334

  7. Food environment, walkability, and public open spaces are associated with incident development of cardio-metabolic risk factors in a biomedical cohort.

    PubMed

    Paquet, Catherine; Coffee, Neil T; Haren, Matthew T; Howard, Natasha J; Adams, Robert J; Taylor, Anne W; Daniel, Mark

    2014-07-01

    We investigated whether residential environment characteristics related to food (unhealthful/healthful food sources ratio), walkability and public open spaces (POS; number, median size, greenness and type) were associated with incidence of four cardio-metabolic risk factors (pre-diabetes/diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, abdominal obesity) in a biomedical cohort (n=3205). Results revealed that the risk of developing pre-diabetes/diabetes was lower for participants in areas with larger POS and greater walkability. Incident abdominal obesity was positively associated with the unhealthful food environment index. No associations were found with hypertension or dyslipidaemia. Results provide new evidence for specific, prospective associations between the built environment and cardio-metabolic risk factors. PMID:24880234

  8. Do observed or perceived characteristics of the neighborhood environment mediate associations between neighborhood poverty and cumulative biological risk?

    PubMed Central

    Schulz, Amy J.; Mentz, Graciela; Lachance, Laurie; Zenk, Shannon N.; Johnson, Jonetta; Stokes, Carmen; Mandell, Rebecca

    2013-01-01

    Objective To examine contributions of observed and perceived neighborhood characteristics in explaining associations between neighborhood poverty and cumulative biological risk (CBR) in an urban community. Methods Multilevel regression analyses were conducted using cross-sectional data from a probability sample survey (n=919), and observational and census data. Dependent variable: CBR. Independent variables: Neighborhood disorder, deterioration and characteristics; perceived neighborhood social environment, physical environment, and neighborhood environment. Covariates: Neighborhood and individual demographics, health-related behaviors. Results Observed and perceived indicators of neighborhood conditions were significantly associated with CBR, after accounting for both neighborhood and individual level socioeconomic indicators. Observed and perceived neighborhood environmental conditions mediated associations between neighborhood poverty and CBR. Conclusions Findings were consistent with the hypothesis that neighborhood conditions associated with economic divestment mediate associations between neighborhood poverty and CBR. PMID:24100238

  9. Variations in active transport behavior among different neighborhoods and across adult lifestages

    PubMed Central

    Christiansen, Lars Breum; Madsen, Thomas; Schipperijn, Jasper; Ersbøll, Annette K; Troelsen, Jens

    2014-01-01

    Objective Built environment characteristics are closely related to transport behavior, but observed variations could be due to residents own choice of neighborhood called residential self-selection. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in neighborhood walkability and residential self-selection across life stages in relation to active transport behavior. Methods The IPEN walkability index, which consists of four built environment characteristics, was used to define 16 high and low walkable neighborhoods in Aarhus, Denmark (250.000 inhabitants). Transport behavior was assessed using the IPAQ questionnaire. Life stages were categorized in three groups according to age and parental status. A factor analysis was conducted to investigate patterns of self-selection. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were carried out to evaluate the association between walkability and transport behavior i.e. walking, cycling and motorized transport adjusted for residential self-selection and life stages. Results A total of 642 adults aged 20–65 years completed the questionnaire. The highest rated self-selection preference across all groups was a safe and secure neighborhood followed by getting around easily on foot and by bicycle. Three self-selection factors were detected, and varied across the life stages. In the multivariable models high neighborhood walkability was associated with less motorized transport (OR 0.33 95%CI 0.18–0.58), more walking (OR 1.65 95%CI 1.03–2.65) and cycling (OR 1.50 95% CI 1.01–2.23). Self-selection and life stage were also associated with transport behavior, and attenuated the association with walkability. Conclusion This study supports the hypothesis that some variation in transport behavior can be explained by life stages and self-selection, but the association between living in a more walkable neighborhood and active transport is still significant after adjusting for these factors. Life stage significantly moderated the

  10. From digital earth to digital neighbourhood: A study of subjective measures of walkability attributes in objectively assessed digital neighbourhood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qureshi, S.; Ho, C. S.

    2014-02-01

    According to IEA report (2011), about 23% of the World's CO2 emissions result from transport and this is one of the few areas where emissions are still rapidly increasing. The use of private vehicles is one of the principle contributors to green house gas emissions from transport sector. Therefore this paper focuses on the shift to more sustainable and low carbon forms of transportation mode such as walking. Neighbourhood built environment attributes may influence walkability. For this study, the author used a modified version of the "Neighbourhood Environment Walkability Scale" to make comparison between respondents' perceptions regarding attributes of two neighborhoods of Putrajaya. The 21st Century really needs planners to use the Digital Earth Concept, to go from global to regional to national to very local issues, using integrated, advanced technologies such as earth observation, GIS, virtual reality, etc. For this research, two (2) neighborhoods of different densities (High and Low density) were selected. A sample total of 381(195 and 186) between 7 to 65 years old participants were selected For subjective measures we used 54 questions questionnaire survey where as for the objective measures we used desktop 9.3 version of Arc GIS soft ware. Our results shows that respondents who reside in high-walkable neighbourhood precinct 9 in Putrajaya rated factors such as residential density, land use mix, proximity to destination and street connectivity, consistently higher then did respondents of the low walkable neighbourhood precinct 8 in Putrajaya.

  11. Steps Forward: Review and Recommendations for Research on Walkability, Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health

    PubMed Central

    Lovasi, Gina S.; Grady, Stephanie; Rundle, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    Built environments that support walking and other physical activities have the potential to reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD). Walkable neighborhoods—characterized by density, land use diversity, and well-connected transportation networks—have been linked to more walking, less obesity, and lower coronary heart disease risk. Yet ongoing research on pedestrian-friendly built environments has the potential to address important gaps. While much of the literature has focused on urban form and planning characteristics, additional aspects of street-scapes, such as natural and architectural amenities, should also be considered. Promising future directions include (1) integration of multiple built environment measures that facilitate an understanding of how individuals perceive and act within their environment; (2) examination of both the daily physical activities that are most feasibly influenced by the local environment and those more deliberate or vigorous patterns of physical activity that are most predictive of CVD; (3) consideration of multiple pathways that could mediate a link between walkability and CVD, including not only physical activity, but also air quality improvements from reduced vehicle mileage and enhanced neighborhood social cohesion from unplanned interactions; (4) testing competing hypotheses that may explain interactions of built environment characteristics with each other and with personal barriers to walking; (5) stronger conceptualization of the multiple neighborhoods or activity spaces that structure opportunities for physical activity throughout the day; (6) collecting and strategically analyzing longitudinal data to support causal inference; and (7) studying neighborhood preferences and selection to move beyond biased assessments of neighborhood health effects. While walkability has been linked to health-related behaviors and CVD risk factors, the implications of the observed correlations are not yet clear. New theoretical insights

  12. HOPE VI Neighborhoods and Neighborhood Schools: Understanding How Revitalized Neighborhoods Influence School Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smrekar, Claire E.; Bentley, Lydia

    2011-01-01

    This article poses the central question, How do neighborhoods (specifically, different public housing designs) shape parents' social interactions and social networks? To answer this question, we interviewed families residing in a HOPE VI neighborhood and an adjacent Section 8 apartment complex, all of whom had at least one child attending the…

  13. Neighborhood Environment and Marijuana Use in Urban Young Adults

    PubMed Central

    Furr-Holden, C. Debra M.; Lee, Myong Hwa; Milam, Adam J; Duncan, Alexandra; Reboussin, Beth A.; Leaf, Philip J; Ialongo, Nicholas S.

    2014-01-01

    Risk factors for marijuana use in older adolescents and young adults have focused primarily on family environment and peer affiliation. A growing body of work has examined the relationship between environmental context and young adult substance use. This study builds on previous research linking neighborhood environment to young adult marijuana use by exploring two distinct features of neighborhoods, namely the physical (e.g. broken windows) and social environment (e.g. adults watching youth). Data were obtained from a longitudinal sample of 398 predominately African American young adults living in an urban environment. The data also included observational measures of physical and social order and disorder collected on the young adult's residential block. Exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) was utilized to test hypothesized relationships between these two features of the neighborhood environment and past year young adult marijuana use. A two-factor model of neighborhood environment with good fit indices was selected (CFI=0.97, RMSEA=0.037). There was a positive and significant direct effect from neighborhood physical disorder to marijuana use (0.219, p<0.05) controlling for gender, race, and free and reduced meals status. The direct effect from neighborhood social environment to marijuana use was not significant. These results converge with previous research linking vacant housing with young adult marijuana use but do not provide empirical support for the neighborhood social environment as a determinant of drug taking. Better explication of the social environment is needed to understand it's relationship to drug use. PMID:25005818

  14. Exposure to Hazardous Neighborhood Environments in Late Childhood and Anxiety

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furr-Holden, C. Debra M.; Milam, Adam J.; Young, Kevin C.; MacPherson, Laura; Lejuez, Carl W.

    2011-01-01

    This investigation examined the relationship between living in disordered neighborhoods during childhood and anxiety 1 year later. Objective measures of neighborhood environment and individual data from a study of mental health in suburban children were utilized. Linear regression models were used to assess relationships between neighborhood…

  15. Deconstructing Williamsburg: Using focus groups to examine residents' perceptions of the building of a walkable community

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Components of the built environment are associated with active living behaviors, but research in this area has employed surveys and other quantitative methods almost exclusively. Qualitative approaches can provide additional detail about how neighborhoods influence physical activity, including informing the extent to which such relationships are causal in nature. The purpose of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of residents' attitudinal and behavioral responses to living in a neighborhood designed to be walkable. Methods Focus groups were conducted with residents of a planned retail and residential development that was designed to embody many attributes of walkability and was located within a large city in southwestern Ontario. In total, 31 participants provided qualitative data about neighborhood resources and dynamics, use of local services, physical activity behavior, and other related issues. The data were transcribed and coded for themes relevant to the study purpose. Results Salient themes that emerged emphasized the importance of land use diversity, safety, parks and trails, aesthetics, and a sense of community, with the latter theme cutting across all others. The data also revealed mechanisms that explain relationships between the built environment and behavior and how sidewalks in the neighborhood facilitated diverse health behaviors and outcomes. Finally, residents recited several examples of changes in behavior, both positive and negative, since moving to their current neighborhood. Conclusions The results of this study confirmed and expanded upon current knowledge about built and social environment influences on physical activity and health. That many residents reported changes in their behaviors since moving to the neighborhood permitted tentative inferences about the causal impact of built and social environments. Future research should exploit diverse methods to more fully understand how neighborhood contexts influence

  16. Neighborhood Food Environment, Diet, and Obesity Among Los Angeles County Adults, 2011

    PubMed Central

    Lightstone, Amy S.; Basurto-Davila, Ricardo; Morales, Douglas M.; Sturm, Roland

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The objective of this study was to examine whether an association exists between the number and type of food outlets in a neighborhood and dietary intake and body mass index (BMI) among adults in Los Angeles County. We also assessed whether this association depends on the geographic size of the food environment. Methods We analyzed data from the 2011 Los Angeles County Health Survey. We created buffers (from 0.25 to 3.0 miles in radius) centered in respondents’ residential addresses and counted the number of food outlets by type in each buffer. Dependent variables were weekly intake of fruits and vegetables, sugar-sweetened beverages, and fast food; BMI; and being overweight (BMI ≥25.0 kg/m2) or obese (BMI ≥30.0 kg/m2). Explanatory variables were the number of outlets classified as fast-food outlets, convenience stores, small food stores, grocery stores, and supermarkets. Regressions were estimated for all sets of explanatory variables and buffer size combinations (150 total effects). Results Only 2 of 150 effects were significant after being adjusted for multiple comparisons. The number of fast-food restaurants in nonwalkable areas (in a 3.0-mile radius) was positively associated with fast-food consumption, and the number of convenience stores in a walkable distance (in a 0.25-mile radius) was negatively associated with obesity. Discussion Little evidence was found for associations between proximity of respondents’ homes to food outlets and dietary intake or BMI among adults in Los Angeles County. A possible explanation for the null finding is that shopping patterns are weakly related to neighborhoods in Los Angeles County because of motorized transportation. PMID:26334715

  17. Understanding Your Neighborhood Environment Through Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Betros, Harry

    The product of a Special Studies Institute, this teacher developed resource guide for emotionally handicapped (K-6) presents an investigative approach to science, capitalizing on the resources found in an urban neighborhood. Focus is on integrated curricula in preparation for life, wherein all subject areas function as tools for living in and…

  18. Disparities in neighborhood food environments: implications of measurement strategies.

    PubMed

    Bader, Michael D M; Purciel, Marnie; Yousefzadeh, Paulette; Neckerman, Kathryn M

    2010-01-01

    Public health researchers have begun to map the neighborhood “food environment” and examine its association with the risk of overweight and obesity. Some argue that “food deserts”—areas with little or no provision of fresh produce and other healthy food—may contribute to disparities in obesity, diabetes, and related health problems. While research on neighborhood food environments has taken advantage of more technically sophisticated ways to assess distance and density, in general, it has not considered how individual or neighborhood conditions might modify physical distance and thereby affect patterns of spatial accessibility. This study carried out a series of sensitivity analyses to illustrate the effects on the measurement of disparities in food environments of adjusting for cross-neighborhood variation in vehicle ownership rates, public transit access, and impediments to pedestrian travel, such as crime and poor traffic safety. The analysis used geographic information systems data for New York City supermarkets, fruit and vegetable markets, and farmers' markets and employed both kernel density and distance measures. We found that adjusting for vehicle ownership and crime tended to increase measured disparities in access to supermarkets by neighborhood race/ethnicity and income, while adjusting for public transit and traffic safety tended to narrow these disparities. Further, considering fruit and vegetable markets and farmers' markets, as well as supermarkets, increased the density of healthy food outlets, especially in neighborhoods with high concentrations of Hispanics, Asians, and foreign-born residents and in high-poverty neighborhoods. PMID:21117330

  19. The Neighborhood Energy Balance Equation: Does Neighborhood Food Retail Environment + Physical Activity Environment = Obesity? The CARDIA Study

    PubMed Central

    Boone-Heinonen, Janne; Diez-Roux, Ana V.; Goff, David C.; Loria, Catherine M.; Kiefe, Catarina I.; Popkin, Barry M.; Gordon-Larsen, Penny

    2013-01-01

    Background Recent obesity prevention initiatives focus on healthy neighborhood design, but most research examines neighborhood food retail and physical activity (PA) environments in isolation. We estimated joint, interactive, and cumulative impacts of neighborhood food retail and PA environment characteristics on body mass index (BMI) throughout early adulthood. Methods and Findings We used cohort data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study [n=4,092; Year 7 (24-42 years, 1992-1993) followed over 5 exams through Year 25 (2010-2011); 12,921 person-exam observations], with linked time-varying geographic information system-derived neighborhood environment measures. Using regression with fixed effects for individuals, we modeled time-lagged BMI as a function of food and PA resource density (counts per population) and neighborhood development intensity (a composite density score). We controlled for neighborhood poverty, individual-level sociodemographics, and BMI in the prior exam; and included significant interactions between neighborhood measures and by sex. Using model coefficients, we simulated BMI reductions in response to single and combined neighborhood improvements. Simulated increase in supermarket density (from 25th to 75th percentile) predicted inter-exam reduction in BMI of 0.09 kg/m2 [estimate (95% CI): -0.09 (-0.16, -0.02)]. Increasing commercial PA facility density predicted BMI reductions up to 0.22 kg/m2 in men, with variation across other neighborhood features [estimate (95% CI) range: -0.14 (-0.29, 0.01) to -0.22 (-0.37, -0.08)]. Simultaneous increases in supermarket and commercial PA facility density predicted inter-exam BMI reductions up to 0.31 kg/m2 in men [estimate (95% CI) range: -0.23 (-0.39, -0.06) to -0.31 (-0.47, -0.15)] but not women. Reduced fast food restaurant and convenience store density and increased public PA facility density and neighborhood development intensity did not predict reductions in BMI

  20. Neighborhood environment and internalizing problems in African American children.

    PubMed

    Milam, Adam J; Furr-Holden, C Debra; Whitaker, Damiya; Smart, Mieka; Leaf, Philip; Cooley-Strickland, Michele

    2012-02-01

    This study examines gender differences in the association between environment and internalizing problems in a sample of predominately African American schoolchildren. Internalizing problems was assessed using the Youth Self Report. Violence and alcohol and other drug (AOD) exposure subscales were created using observational assessments of neighborhood blocks. Logistic regression models were used to assess the relationship between neighborhood environment and internalizing problems. For each AOD item present on the block the odds of internalizing problems among girls increased by 17% (OR = 1.17, CI: 1.01, 1.35, P = 0.039). The relationship was not significant among boys. Violence exposure did not predict internalizing problems in boys or girls. These preliminary findings suggest that primary school-aged girls' emotional well-being is more negatively impacted by deleterious environments. Future investigations will examine the relationship between deleterious neighborhood environments and internalizing problems as the children age into adolescence. PMID:21234683

  1. Development and Deployment of the Computer Assisted Neighborhood Visual Assessment System (CANVAS) to Measure Health-Related Neighborhood Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Bader, Michael D. M.; Mooney, Stephen J.; Lee, Yeon Jin; Sheehan, Daniel; Neckerman, Kathryn M.; Rundle, Andrew G.; Teitler, Julien O.

    2014-01-01

    Public health research has shown that neighborhood conditions are associated with health behaviors and outcomes. Systematic neighborhood audits have helped researchers measure neighborhood conditions that they deem theoretically relevant but not available in existing administrative data. Systematic audits, however, are expensive to conduct and rarely comparable across geographic regions. We describe the development of an online application, the Computer Assisted Neighborhood Visual Assessment System (CANVAS), that uses Google Street View to conduct virtual audits of neighborhood environments. We use this system to assess the inter-rater reliability of 187 items related to walkability and physical disorder on a national sample of 150 street segments in the United States. We find that many items are reliably measured across auditors using CANVAS and that agreement between auditors appears to be uncorrelated with neighborhood demographic characteristics. Based on our results we conclude that Google Street View and CANVAS offer opportunities to develop greater comparability across neighborhood audit studies. PMID:25545769

  2. Development and deployment of the Computer Assisted Neighborhood Visual Assessment System (CANVAS) to measure health-related neighborhood conditions.

    PubMed

    Bader, Michael D M; Mooney, Stephen J; Lee, Yeon Jin; Sheehan, Daniel; Neckerman, Kathryn M; Rundle, Andrew G; Teitler, Julien O

    2015-01-01

    Public health research has shown that neighborhood conditions are associated with health behaviors and outcomes. Systematic neighborhood audits have helped researchers measure neighborhood conditions that they deem theoretically relevant but not available in existing administrative data. Systematic audits, however, are expensive to conduct and rarely comparable across geographic regions. We describe the development of an online application, the Computer Assisted Neighborhood Visual Assessment System (CANVAS), that uses Google Street View to conduct virtual audits of neighborhood environments. We use this system to assess the inter-rater reliability of 187 items related to walkability and physical disorder on a national sample of 150 street segments in the United States. We find that many items are reliably measured across auditors using CANVAS and that agreement between auditors appears to be uncorrelated with neighborhood demographic characteristics. Based on our results we conclude that Google Street View and CANVAS offer opportunities to develop greater comparability across neighborhood audit studies. PMID:25545769

  3. Association Between the Built Environment in School Neighborhoods With Physical Activity Among New York City Children, 2012

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Heewon Lee; Quinn, James; Rundle, Andrew G.; Contento, Isobel R.; Koch, Pamela A.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The benefits of physical activity for health and well-being are well established, yet built environment characteristics in the school neighborhood may constrain students’ ability to engage in physical activity and contribute to the considerable variation in physical activity among students at different schools. Methods Baseline data from the Food, Health and Choices obesity prevention trial were used to create multilevel linear models of the relationship between fifth-grade students’ (n = 952) physical activity and related psychosocial factors and characteristics of the built environment of the school’s neighborhood (park access, public transportation density, total crime, and walkability), controlling for age and body mass index z scores. Results Total crime was inversely associated with boys’ light physical activity duration (β = −0.189; P = .02) and behavioral intention for physical activity (β = −0.178; P = .03). Boys’ habit strength for physical activity was positively associated with public transportation density (β = 0.375; P = .02) and negatively associated with total crime (β = −0.216; P = .01), explaining 67% of between-school variation. Girls’ frequency of light physical activity was positively associated with park access (β = 0.188; P = .04). Built environment characteristics explained 97% of the between-school variation in girls’ self-efficacy in walking for exercise. Conclusions Characteristics of the built environment surrounding schools were associated with and explain between-school variation in students’ physical activity and several theory-based psychosocial factors. Partnerships between public health practitioners, policy makers, and school administrators may be warranted to shape the school neighborhood, specifically to decrease crime rates and increase park access, to encourage physical activity in youth. PMID:27536902

  4. Invited Commentary: Taking Advantage of Time-Varying Neighborhood Environments

    PubMed Central

    Lovasi, Gina S.; Goldsmith, Jeff

    2014-01-01

    Neighborhood built environment characteristics may encourage physical activity, but previous literature on the topic has been critiqued for its reliance on cross-sectional data. In this issue of the Journal, Knuiman et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2014;180(5):453–461) present longitudinal analyses of built environment characteristics as predictors of neighborhood transportation walking. We take this opportunity to comment on self-selection, exposure measurement, outcome form, analyses, and future directions. The Residential Environments (RESIDE) Study follows individuals as they relocate into new housing. The outcome, which is neighborhood transportation walking, has several important limitations with regards to public health relevance, dichotomization, and potential bias. Three estimation strategies were pursued: marginal modeling, random-effects modeling, and fixed-effects modeling. Knuiman et al. defend fixed-effects modeling as the one that most effectively controls for unmeasured time-invariant confounders, and it will do so as long as confounders have a constant effect over time. Fixed-effects modeling requires no distributional assumptions regarding the heterogeneity of subject-specific effects. Associations of time-varying neighborhood characteristics with walking are interpreted at the subject level for both fixed- and random-effects models. Cross-sectional data have set the stage for the next generation of neighborhood research, which should leverage longitudinal changes in both place and health behaviors. Careful interpretation is warranted as longitudinal data become available for analysis. PMID:25117659

  5. Understanding Neighborhood Environment Related to Hong Kong Children’s Physical Activity: A Qualitative Study Using Nominal Group Technique

    PubMed Central

    He, Gang; Cerin, Ester; Huang, Wendy Y.; Wong, Stephen H.

    2014-01-01

    Background Relationships between the neighborhood environment and children’s physical activity have been well documented in Western countries but are less investigated in ultra-dense Asian cities. The aim of this study was to identify the environmental facilitators and barriers of physical activity behaviors among Hong Kong Chinese children using nominal group technique. Methods Five nominal groups were conducted among 34 children aged 10–11 years from four types of neighborhoods varying in socio-economic status and walkability in Hong Kong. Environmental factors were generated by children in response to the question “What neighborhood environments do you think would increase or decrease your willingness to do physical activity?” Factors were prioritized in order of their importance to children’s physical activity. Results Sixteen unique environmental factors, which were perceived as the most important to children’s physical activity, were identified. Factors perceived as physical activity-facilitators included “Sufficient lighting”, “Bridge or tunnel”, “Few cars on roads”, “Convenient transportation”, “Subway station”, “Recreation grounds”, “Shopping malls with air conditioning”, “Fresh air”, “Interesting animals”, and “Perfume shop”. Factors perceived as physical activity-barriers included “People who make me feel unsafe”, “Crimes nearby”, “Afraid of being taken or hurt at night”, “Hard to find toilet in shopping mall”, “Too much noise”, and “Too many people in recreation grounds”. Conclusions Specific physical activity-related environmental facilitators and barriers, which are unique in an ultra-dense city, were identified by Hong Kong children. These initial findings can inform future examinations of the physical activity-environment relationship among children in Hong Kong and similar Asian cities. PMID:25187960

  6. Family and neighborhood disadvantage, home environment, and children's school readiness.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Lieny; Buettner, Cynthia K; Hur, Eunhye

    2014-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine associations between family socioeconomic risk, neighborhood disadvantage, and children's school readiness. A sample of 420 children from 48 early childcare programs yielded multi-informant data. The average age was 55.3 months (SD = 6.4), with 38% of children being Black, non-Hispanic, Hispanic, or other minority race (American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander). One third (32.4%) of the parents had annual incomes less than $30,000. We used multilevel structural equation modeling to test direct and indirect associations among family socioeconomic risk and neighborhood disadvantage and children's cognitive and social-emotional development through home learning environment and parental depression. Children with a greater number of family socioeconomic risks and a higher level of neighborhood disadvantage demonstrated lower scores on cognitive skills. The degree of family socioeconomic risk was indirectly associated with children's cognitive ability through parents' cognitive stimulation at home. Parents who had more family socioeconomic risks and neighborhood disadvantage reported more depressive symptoms, which, in turn, suggested children's greater probability of having social-emotional problems. In other words, home learning environments explained associations between family socioeconomic disadvantage and children's cognitive skills, while parental depression explained associations between family/neighborhood disadvantages and children's social-emotional problems. Results suggest the importance of intervention or prevention strategies for parents to improve cognitive stimulation at home and to reduce depressive symptoms. PMID:25150370

  7. Walkability, Transit Access, and Traffic Exposure for Low-Income Residents With Subsidized Housing

    PubMed Central

    Basolo, Victoria; Yang, Dongwoo

    2013-01-01

    Objectives. We assessed the spatial distribution of subsidized housing units provided through 2 federally supported, low-income housing programs in Orange County, California, in relation to neighborhood walkability, transit access, and traffic exposure. Methods. We used data from multiple sources to examine land-use and health-related built environment factors near housing subsidized through the Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, and to determine these patterns’ associations with traffic exposure. Results. Subsidized projects or units in walkable, poorer neighborhoods were associated with lower traffic exposure; higher traffic exposure was associated with more transit service, a Hispanic majority, and mixed-use areas. Voucher units are more likely than LIHTC projects to be located in high-traffic areas. Conclusions. Housing program design may affect the location of subsidized units, resulting in differential traffic exposure for households by program type. Further research is needed to better understand the relationships among subsidized housing locations, characteristics of the built environment, and health concerns such as traffic exposure, as well as which populations are most affected by these relationships. PMID:22897555

  8. Neighborhood Environment and Intimate Partner Violence: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Beyer, Kirsten; Wallis, Anne Baber; Hamberger, L. Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important global public health problem, affecting women across the lifespan and increasing risk for a number of unfavorable health outcomes. Typically conceptualized as a private form of violence, most research has focused on individual-level risk markers. Recently, more scholarly attention has been paid to the role that the residential neighborhood environment may play in influencing the occurrence of IPV. With research accumulating since the 1990s, increasing prominence of the topic, and no comprehensive literature reviews yet undertaken, it is time to take stock of what is known, what remains unknown, and the methods and concepts investigators have considered. In this paper, we undertake a comprehensive, systematic review of the literature to date on the relationship between neighborhood environment and IPV, asking: “What is the status of scholarship related to the association between neighborhood environment and IPV occurrence?” Although the literature is young, it is receiving increasing attention from researchers in sociology, public health, criminology, and other fields. Obvious gaps in the literature include limited consideration of non-urban areas, limited theoretical motivation, and limited consideration of the range of potential contributors to environmental effects on IPV – such as built environmental factors or access to services. In addition, explanations of the pathways by which place influences the occurrence of IPV draw mainly from social disorganization theory, which was developed in urban settings in the United States and may need to be adapted, especially to be useful in explaining residential environmental correlates of IPV in rural or non-US settings. A more complete theoretical understanding of the relationship between neighborhood environment and IPV, especially considering differences among urban, semi-urban and rural settings, and developed and developing country settings, will be necessary to

  9. Neighborhood environment and intimate partner violence: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Beyer, Kirsten; Wallis, Anne Baber; Hamberger, L Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important global public health problem, affecting women across the life span and increasing risk for a number of unfavorable health outcomes. Typically conceptualized as a private form of violence, most research has focused on individual-level risk markers. Recently, more scholarly attention has been paid to the role that the residential neighborhood environment may play in influencing the occurrence of IPV. With research accumulating since the 1990s, increasing prominence of the topic, and no comprehensive literature reviews yet undertaken, it is time to take stock of what is known, what remains unknown, and the methods and concepts investigators have considered. In this article, we undertake a comprehensive, systematic review of the literature to date on the relationship between neighborhood environment and IPV, asking, "what is the status of scholarship related to the association between neighborhood environment and IPV occurrence?" Although the literature is young, it is receiving increasing attention from researchers in sociology, public health, criminology, and other fields. Obvious gaps in the literature include limited consideration of nonurban areas, limited theoretical motivation, and limited consideration of the range of potential contributors to environmental effects on IPV--such as built environmental factors or access to services. In addition, explanations of the pathways by which place influences the occurrence of IPV draw mainly from social disorganization theory that was developed in urban settings in the United States and may need to be adapted, especially to be useful in explaining residential environmental correlates of IPV in rural or non-U.S. settings. A more complete theoretical understanding of the relationship between neighborhood environment and IPV, especially considering differences among urban, semiurban, and rural settings and developed and developing country settings, will be necessary to advance

  10. The association between sidewalk length and walking for different purposes in established neighborhoods

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Walking in neighborhood environments is undertaken for different purposes including for transportation and leisure. We examined whether sidewalk availability was associated with participation in, and minutes of neighborhood-based walking for transportation (NWT) and recreation (NWR) after controlling for neighborhood self-selection. Method Baseline survey data from respondents (n = 1813) who participated in the RESIDential Environment (RESIDE) project (Perth, Western Australia) were used. Respondents were recruited based on their plans to move to another neighborhood in the following year. Usual weekly neighborhood-based walking, residential preferences, walking attitudes, and demographics were measured. Characteristics of the respondent’s baseline neighborhood were measured including transportation-related walkability and sidewalk length. A Heckman two-stage modeling approach (multivariate Probit regression for walking participation, followed by a sample selection-bias corrected OLS regression for walking minutes) estimated the relative contribution of sidewalk length to NWT and NWR. Results After adjustment, neighborhood sidewalk length and walkability were positively associated with a 2.97 and 2.16 percentage point increase in the probability of NWT participation, respectively. For each 10 km increase in sidewalk length, NWT increased by 5.38 min/wk and overall neighborhood-based walking increased by 5.26 min/wk. Neighborhood walkability was not associated with NWT or NWR minutes. Moreover, sidewalk length was not associated with NWR minutes. Conclusions Sidewalk availability in established neighborhoods may be differentially associated with walking for different purposes. Our findings suggest that large investments in sidewalk construction alone would yield small increases in walking. PMID:22853008

  11. Influences on Neighborhood Walking in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, Nancy Ambrose; Clarke, Philippa J.; Ronis, David L.; Cherry, Carol Loveland; Nyquist, Linda; Gretebeck, Kimberlee A.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this cross-sectional survey study was to examine the influence of self-efficacy, outcome expectations and environment on neighborhood walking in older adults with (n=163, mean age=78.7, SD=7.96 years) and without (n=163, mean age=73.6, SD=7.93 years) mobility limitations (controlling for demographic characteristics). Measures included: Neighborhood Physical Activity Questionnaire, Multidimensional Outcome Expectations for Exercise Scale, Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale, and self-efficacy scales. Multiple regression revealed that in mobility-limited older adults, demographic characteristics, self-efficacy, and outcome expectations explained 17.4% of variance in neighborhood walking, while environment (neighborhood destinations and design) explained 9.5%. Destinations, self-efficacy, gender, and outcome expectations influenced walking. In those without mobility limitations, demographic characteristics, self-efficacy, and outcome expectations explained 15.6% of the variance, while environment explained 5.7%. Self-efficacy, gender, and design influenced walking. Neighborhood walking interventions for older adults should include self-efficacy strategies tailored to mobility status and neighborhood characteristics. PMID:22998660

  12. Children’s physical activity and parents’ perception of the neighborhood environment: neighborhood impact on kids study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Physical activity is important to children’s physical health and well-being. Many factors contribute to children’s physical activity, and the built environment has garnered considerable interest recently, as many young children spend much of their time in and around their immediate neighborhood. Few studies have identified correlates of children’s activity in specific locations. This study examined associations between parent report of their home neighborhood environment and children’s overall and location-specific physical activity. Methods Parents and children ages 6 to 11 (n=724), living in neighborhoods identified through objective built environment factors as high or low in physical activity environments, were recruited from Seattle and San Diego metropolitan areas, 2007–2009. Parents completed a survey about their child’s activity and perceptions of home neighborhood environmental attributes. Children wore an accelerometer for 7 days. Multivariate regression models explored perceived environment correlates of parent-reported child’s recreational physical activity in their neighborhood, in parks, and in general, as well as accelerometry-based moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA) minutes. Results Parent-reported proximity to play areas correlated positively with both accelerometery MVPA and parent-reported total child physical activity. Lower street connectivity and higher neighborhood aesthetics correlated with higher reported child activity in the neighborhood, while reported safety from crime and walk and cycle facilities correlated positively with reported child activity in public recreation spaces. Conclusions Different aspects of parent’s perceptions of the neighborhood environment appear to correlate with different aspects of children’s activity. However, prioritizing closer proximity to safe play areas may best improve children’s physical activity and, in turn, reduce their risk of obesity and associated chronic diseases

  13. Built environment and lower-extremity physical performance: Prospective findings from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures in Women

    PubMed Central

    Michael, Yvonne L.; Gold, Rachel; Perrin, Nancy A.; Hillier, Teresa A.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: We examined the association between walkability of the built environment and changes in physical performance among women aged 65 or older (n = 1,671, 253 neighborhoods). Methods: Street connectivity and street density, markers for neighborhood walkability, were assessed through linkage to secondary data sources. Physical performance was measured with timed-walk and chair-stand tests assessed during follow-up visits about every two years for 12–14 years. Multilevel models predicted change in physical performance, controlling for age, number of incident comorbidities, self-rated health, and death during follow-up. Results: Overall, physical performance declined during follow-up (p < 0.001). Neighborhood walkability had no effect on change in physical performance among women who reported not walking at baseline. However, among women who walked, greater neighborhood walkability was associated with a slower decline in dynamic leg strength, indicated by score on chair stand. Discussion: Neighborhood walkability may protect against decline in physical performance. PMID:21724965

  14. Is walkability associated with a lower cardiometabolic risk?

    PubMed

    Coffee, Neil T; Howard, Natasha; Paquet, Catherine; Hugo, Graeme; Daniel, Mark

    2013-05-01

    Walkability of residential environments has been associated with more walking. Given the health benefits of walking, it is expected that people living in locations with higher measured walkability should have a lower risk of cardiometabolic diseases. This study tested the hypothesis that higher walkability was associated with a lower cardiometabolic risk (CMR) for two administrative spatial units and three road buffers. Data were from the North West Adelaide Health Study first wave of data collected between 2000 and 2003. CMR was expressed as a cumulative sum of six clinical risk markers, selected to reflect components of the metabolic syndrome. Walkability was based on an established methodology and operationalised as dwelling density, intersection density, land-use mix and retail footprint. Walkability was associated with lower CMR for the three road buffer representations of the built environment but not for the two administrative spatial units. This may indicate a limitation in the use of administrative spatial units for analyses of walkability and health outcomes. PMID:23501378

  15. The association of sidewalk walkability and physical disorder with area‐level race and poverty

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Cheryl M; Schootman, Mario; Baker, Elizabeth A; Barnidge, Ellen K; Lemes, Amanda

    2007-01-01

    Introduction There are significant differences in physical inactivity in various geographical areas and among demographic groups. Previous research suggests that walking is the most common form of physical activity; however, not all built environments support walking for recreational or transportation purposes. Objective The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which area‐level factors, poverty rate and racial distribution, are associated with aspects of the street‐scale environment (i.e. sidewalk walkability and physical disorder) using community audits. Methods Street segments were randomly selected from 210 block groups. Pairs of trained auditors walked each street segment using an audit tool designed to capture aspects of the street environment. Multilevel logistic regression was used to assess the degree of neighborhood (i.e. block group) variation in sidewalk unevenness, sidewalk obstruction and the presence of physical disorder and the association with area‐level characteristics. Results 1780 street segments were audited. Block groups that were predominantly African–American were 38 times more likely to have a lot of unevenness, 15 times more likely to have many obstructions, and 12 times more likely to have physical disorder. Poverty rate was not independently associated with sidewalk walkability; however, block groups with the highest poverty rates were 21 times more likely to have physical disorder. Conclusion The results indicate that aspects of the built environment vary by characteristics of the neighborhood. This suggests that there is a differential investment in community infrastructures and resources in neighborhoods that are mostly African–American. This differential investment is likely to influence disparities in rates of physical activity. PMID:17933956

  16. The Association between Belgian Older Adults’ Physical Functioning and Physical Activity: What Is the Moderating Role of the Physical Environment?

    PubMed Central

    Van Holle, Veerle; Van Cauwenberg, Jelle; Gheysen, Freja; Van Dyck, Delfien; Deforche, Benedicte; Van de Weghe, Nico; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse

    2016-01-01

    Background Better physical functioning in the elderly may be associated with higher physical activity levels. Since older adults spend a substantial part of the day in their residential neighborhood, the neighborhood physical environment may moderate associations between functioning and older adults’ physical activity. The present study investigated the moderating role of the objective and perceived physical environment on associations between Belgian older adults’ physical functioning and transport walking, recreational walking, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Methods Data from 438 older adults were included. Objective physical functioning was assessed using the Short Physical Performance Battery. Potential moderators included objective neighborhood walkability and perceptions of land use mix diversity, access to recreational facilities, access to services, street connectivity, physical barriers for walking, aesthetics, crime-related safety, traffic speeding-related safety, and walking infrastructure. Transport and recreational walking were self-reported, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was assessed through accelerometers. Multi-level regression analyses were conducted using MLwiN to examine two-way interactions between functioning and the environment on both walking outcomes. Based on a previous study where environment x neighborhood income associations were found for Belgian older adults’ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, three-way functioning x environment x income interactions were examined for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Results Objectively-measured walkability moderated the association between functioning and transport walking; this positive association was only present in high-walkable neighborhoods. Moreover, a three-way interaction was observed for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Only in high-income, high-walkable neighborhoods, there was a positive association between functioning and moderate

  17. Neighbourhood Walkability and Daily Steps in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Hajna, Samantha; Ross, Nancy A.; Joseph, Lawrence; Harper, Sam; Dasgupta, Kaberi

    2016-01-01

    Introduction There is evidence that greater neighbourhood walkability (i.e., neighbourhoods with more amenities and well-connected streets) is associated with higher levels of total walking in Europe and in Asia, but it remains unclear if this association holds in the Canadian context and in chronic disease populations. We examined the relationships of different walkability measures to biosensor-assessed total walking (i.e., steps/day) in adults with type 2 diabetes living in Montreal (QC, Canada). Materials and Methods Participants (60.5±10.4 years; 48.1% women) were recruited through McGill University-affiliated clinics (June 2006 to May 2008). Steps/day were assessed once per season for one year with pedometers. Neighbourhood walkability was evaluated through participant reports, in-field audits, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-derived measures, and the Walk Score®. Relationships between walkability and daily steps were estimated using Bayesian longitudinal hierarchical linear regression models (n = 131). Results Participants who reported living in the most compared to the least walkable neighbourhoods completed 1345 more steps/day (95% Credible Interval: 718, 1976; Quartiles 4 versus 1). Those living in the most compared to the least walkable neighbourhoods (based on GIS-derived walkability) completed 606 more steps per day (95% CrI: 8, 1203). No statistically significant associations with steps were observed for audit-assessed walkability or the Walk Score®. Conclusions Adults with type 2 diabetes who perceived their neighbourhoods as more walkable accumulated more daily steps. This suggests that knowledge of local neighborhood features that enhance walking is a meaningful predictor of higher levels of walking and an important component of neighbourhood walkability. PMID:26991308

  18. 24 CFR 902.44 - Adjustment for physical condition and neighborhood environment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... and neighborhood environment. 902.44 Section 902.44 Housing and Urban Development REGULATIONS RELATING... Operations Indicator § 902.44 Adjustment for physical condition and neighborhood environment. (a) General. In... environment factors are: (1) Physical condition adjustment applies to projects at least 28 years old, based...

  19. 24 CFR 902.44 - Adjustment for physical condition and neighborhood environment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... and neighborhood environment. 902.44 Section 902.44 Housing and Urban Development REGULATIONS RELATING... Operations Indicator § 902.44 Adjustment for physical condition and neighborhood environment. (a) General. In... environment factors are: (1) Physical condition adjustment applies to projects at least 28 years old, based...

  20. 24 CFR 902.44 - Adjustment for physical condition and neighborhood environment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... and neighborhood environment. 902.44 Section 902.44 Housing and Urban Development REGULATIONS RELATING... Operations Indicator § 902.44 Adjustment for physical condition and neighborhood environment. (a) General. In... environment factors are: (1) Physical condition adjustment applies to projects at least 28 years old, based...

  1. 24 CFR 902.44 - Adjustment for physical condition and neighborhood environment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... and neighborhood environment. 902.44 Section 902.44 Housing and Urban Development REGULATIONS RELATING... Operations Indicator § 902.44 Adjustment for physical condition and neighborhood environment. (a) General. In... environment factors are: (1) Physical condition adjustment applies to projects at least 28 years old, based...

  2. Walkability Audit Tool.

    PubMed

    Smith, Letha

    2015-09-01

    Walking is one of the simplest lifestyle changes workers can make to improve their health. Research shows a wealth of health benefits. Often, occupational and environmental health nurses are in charge of implementing walking programs. A tool is needed to continuously improve a company's walking program whether in the beginning stages or to an already established program. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Walkability Audit Tool for a healthier worksite is an easy seven-step audit tool that occupational and environmental health nurses can easily implement. PMID:26215975

  3. Does neighborhood environment differentiate intimate partner femicides from other femicides?

    PubMed

    Beyer, Kirsten M M; Layde, Peter M; Hamberger, L Kevin; Laud, Purushottam W

    2015-01-01

    We examined the association between neighborhood-level factors and intimate partner femicide (IPF) using Wisconsin Violent Death Reporting System (WVDRS) data and Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV) reports, in concert with neighborhood-level information. After controlling for individual characteristics, neighborhood-level disadvantage was associated with a decreased likelihood of IPF status, as compared with other femicides, whereas neighborhood-level residential instability was associated with an increased likelihood of IPF status. Neighborhood plays a role in differentiating IPFs from other femicides in our study area. Our findings demonstrate the importance of multilevel strategies for understanding and reducing the burden of intimate partner violence. PMID:25540251

  4. DOES NEIGHBORHOOD ENVIRONMENT DIFFERENTIATE INTIMATE PARTNER FEMICIDES FROM OTHER FEMICIDES?

    PubMed Central

    Beyer, Kirsten M. M.; Layde, Peter M.; Hamberger, L. Kevin; Laud, Purushottam W.

    2015-01-01

    We examined the association between neighborhood-level factors and intimate partner femicide (IPF) using Wisconsin Violent Death Reporting System (WVDRS) data and Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV) reports, in concert with neighborhood-level information. After controlling for individual characteristics, neighborhood-level disadvantage was associated with a decreased likelihood of IPF status, as compared to other femicides, while neighborhood-level residential instability was associated with an increased likelihood of IPF status. Neighborhood plays a role in differentiating IPFs from other femicides in our study area. Our findings demonstrate the importance of multilevel strategies for understanding and reducing the burden of intimate partner violence. PMID:25540251

  5. Choice of commuting mode among employees: Do home neighborhood environment, worksite neighborhood environment, and worksite policy and supports matter?

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Lin; Hipp, J. Aaron; Adlakha, Deepti; Marx, Christine M.; Tabak, Rachel G.; Brownson, Ross C.

    2015-01-01

    Background Promoting the use of public transit and active transport (walking and cycling) instead of car driving is an appealing strategy to increase overall physical activity. Purpose To quantify the combined associations between self-reported home and worksite neighborhood environments, worksite support and policies, and employees’ commuting modes. Method Between 2012 and 2013, participants residing in four Missouri metropolitan areas were interviewed via telephone (n = 1,338) and provided information on socio-demographic characteristics, home and worksite neighborhoods, and worksite support and policies. Commuting mode was self-reported and categorized into car driving, public transit, and active commuting. Commuting distance was calculated using geographic information systems. Commuters providing completed data were included in the analysis. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the correlates of using public transit and active commuting. Result The majority of participants reported commuting by driving (88.9%); only 4.9% used public transit and 6.2% used active modes. After multivariate adjustment, having transit stops within 10-15 minutes walking distance from home (p=0.05) and using worksite incentive for public transit (p<0.001) were associated with commuting by public transit. Commuting distance (p<0.001) was negatively associated with active commuting. Having free or low cost recreation facilities around the worksite (p=0.04) and using bike facilities to lock bikes at the worksite (p<0.001) were associated with active commuting. Conclusion Both environment features and worksite supports and policies are associated with the choice of commuting mode. Future studies should use longitudinal designs to investigate the potential of promoting alternative commuting modes through worksite efforts that support sustainable commuting behaviors as well as the potential of built environment improvements. PMID:26085979

  6. Drinking among Native American and White Youths: The Role of Perceived Neighborhood and School Environment

    PubMed Central

    Friese, Bettina; Grube, Joel W.; Seninger, Steve

    2015-01-01

    This study examined whether differences in the perceived neighborhood and school environments account for differences in drinking behavior among Native American and White youths. Findings indicate that being Native American was indirectly related to drinking through perceived school and community variables. Higher drinking rates among Native Americans appear to be accounted for by lower school involvement, weaker neighborhood anti-drug norms, greater neighborhood disorganization and lower levels of perceived police enforcement. Results of this study highlight the potential importance of perceived school and neighborhood environments in drinking behavior among youths. PMID:26114939

  7. Drinking Among Native American and White Youths: The Role of Perceived Neighborhood and School Environment.

    PubMed

    Friese, Bettina; Grube, Joel W; Seninger, Steve

    2015-01-01

    This study examined whether differences in the perceived neighborhood and school environments account for differences in drinking behavior among Native American and White youths. Findings indicate that being Native American was indirectly related to drinking through perceived school and community variables. Higher drinking rates among Native Americans appear to be accounted for by lower school involvement, weaker neighborhood antidrug norms, greater neighborhood disorganization, and lower levels of perceived police enforcement. Results of this study highlight the potential importance of perceived school and neighborhood environments in drinking behavior among youths. PMID:26114939

  8. Body Mass Index, Safety Hazards, and Neighborhood Attractiveness

    PubMed Central

    Lovasi, Gina S.; Bader, Michael D.M.; Quinn, James; Neckerman, Kathryn; Weiss, Christopher; Rundle, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    Background Neighborhood attractiveness and safety may encourage physical activity and help individuals maintain a healthy weight. However, these neighborhood characteristics may not be equally relevant to health across all settings and population subgroups. Purpose To evaluate whether potentially attractive neighborhood features are associated with lower BMI, whether safety hazards are associated with higher BMI, and whether environment–environment interactions are present such that associations for a particular characteristic are stronger in an otherwise supportive environment. Methods Survey data and measured height and weight were collected from a convenience sample of 13,102 adult New York City (NYC) residents in 2000–2002; data analyses were completed 2008–2012. Built-environment measures based on municipal GIS data sources were constructed within 1-km network buffers to assess walkable urban form (density, land-use mix, transit access); attractiveness (sidewalk cafés, landmark buildings, street trees, street cleanliness); and safety (homicide rate, pedestrian–auto collision and fatality prevalence). Generalized linear models with cluster-robust SEs controlled for individual and area-based sociodemographic characteristics. Results The presence of sidewalk cafés, density of landmark buildings, and density of street trees were associated with lower BMI, whereas the proportion of streets rated as clean was associated with higher BMI. Interactions were observed for sidewalk cafés with neighborhood poverty and walkability, for street-tree density with walkability, and for street cleanliness with safety. Safety hazard indicators were not independently associated with BMI. Conclusions Potentially attractive community and natural features were associated with lower BMI among adults in NYC, and there was some evidence of effect modification. PMID:22992355

  9. Perceptions of the Neighborhood Environment and Children’s Afterschool Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Samantha M; Dowda, Marsha; Colabianchi, Natalie; Porter, Dwayne; Dishman, Rod K.; Pate, Russell R.

    2015-01-01

    Previous research suggests the neighborhood environment may be an important influence on children’s physical activity (PA) behaviors; however, findings are inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to further understand the relationship between perceptions of the neighborhood environment and children’s afterschool moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Utilizing a structural equation modeling technique, we tested a conceptual model linking parent and child perceptions of the neighborhood environment, parent support for PA, and child outdoor PA with children’s afterschool MVPA. We found that child perception of the neighborhood environment and outdoor PA were positively associated with afterschool MVPA. In addition, parent support for PA positively influenced children’s outdoor PA. The neighborhood environment and outdoor activity appear to play an influential role on children’s afterschool PA behaviors. PMID:25679820

  10. Exploring the Role of the Built and Social Neighborhood Environment in Moderating Stress and Health

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Tse-Chuan

    2014-01-01

    Background Health researchers have explored how different aspects of neighborhood characteristics contribute to health and well-being, but current understanding of built environment factors is limited. Purpose This study explores whether the association between stress and health varies by residential neighborhood, and if yes, whether built and social neighborhood environment characteristics act as moderators. Methods This study uses multilevel modeling and variables derived from geospatial data to explore the role of neighborhood environment in moderating the association of stress with health. Individual-level data (N=4,093) were drawn from residents of 45 neighborhoods within Philadelphia County, PA, collected as part of the 2006 Philadelphia Health Management Corporation's Household Health Survey. Results We find that the negative influence of high stress varied by neighborhood, that residential stability and affluence (social characteristics) attenuated the association of high stress with health, and that the presence of hazardous waste facilities (built environment characteristics) moderated health by enhancing the association with stress. Conclusions Our findings suggest that neighborhood environment has both direct and moderating associations with health, after adjusting for individual characteristics. The use of geospatial data could broaden the scope of stress–health research and advance knowledge by untangling the intertwined relationship between built and social environments, stress, and health. In particular, future studies should integrate built environment characteristics in health-related research; these characteristics are modifiable and can facilitate health promotion policies. PMID:20300905

  11. Neighborhood Food Environment and Obesity in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: Individual and Neighborhood Effects

    PubMed Central

    Wilson-Genderson, Maureen; Gupta, Adarsh K.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. We tested hypotheses about the relationship between neighborhood-level food sources and obesity, controlling for individual-level characteristics. Methods. Data (collected November 2006–April 2008) derived from a random-digit-dial sample of 5688 community-dwelling adults aged 50 to 74 years residing in 1644 census tracts in New Jersey. Using multilevel structural equation models, we created latent constructs representing density of fast-food establishments and storefronts (convenience stores, bars and pubs, grocery stores) and an observed indicator for supermarkets at the neighborhood level, simultaneously modeling obesity and demographic characteristics (age, gender, race, education, household income) at the individual level. Results. When we controlled for individual-level age, gender, race, education, and household income, densities of fast-food establishments and storefronts were positively associated with obesity. Supermarkets were not associated with obesity. Conclusions. Because people living in neighborhoods with a higher density of fast food and storefronts are more likely to be obese, these neighborhoods may be optimal sites for interventions. PMID:24625148

  12. Housing, the Neighborhood Environment, and Physical Activity among Older African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Hannon, Lonnie; Sawyer, Patricia; Allman, Richard M.

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the association of neighborhood environment, as measured by housing factors, with physical activity among older African Americans. Context is provided on the effects of structural inequality as an inhibitor of health enhancing neighborhood environments. The study population included African Americans participating in the UAB Study of Aging (n=433). Participants demonstrated the ability to walk during a baseline in-home assessment. The strength and independence of housing factors were assessed using neighborhood walking for exercise as the outcome variable. Sociodemographic data, co-morbid medical conditions, and rural/urban residence were included as independent control factors. Homeownership, occupancy, and length of residency maintained positive associations with neighborhood walking independent of control factors. Housing factors appear to be predictive of resident engagement in neighborhood walking. Housing factors, specifically high rates of homeownership, reflect functional and positive neighborhood environments conducive for physical activity. Future interventions seeking to promote health-enhancing behavior should focus on developing housing and built-environment assets within the neighborhood environment. PMID:23745172

  13. Changes in BMI over 6 years: the role of demographic and neighborhood characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Berry, TR; Spence, JC; Blanchard, C; Cutumisu, N; Edwards, J; Nykiforuk, C

    2016-01-01

    Objective To undertake a 6-year longitudinal investigation of the relationship between the built environment (perceived and objectively measured) and change in body mass index (BMI). Specifically, this research examined whether change in BMI was predicted by objectively measured neighborhood walkability and socioeconomic status (SES), and perceived neighborhood characteristics (for example, crime, traffic and interesting things to look at) in addition to other factors such as age, gender, education, physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption and smoking. Design Longitudinal study Subjects 500 adults who provided complete data in 2002 and 2008 and who did not move over the course of the study (47.8% female; age in 2002: 18–90 years). Measurements Telephone surveys in 2002 and 2008 measuring perceptions of their neighborhood environment and demographic factors. Objective measures of neighborhood characteristics were calculated using census data and geographical information systems in 2006. Results Age, neighborhood SES and perceived traffic were significantly related to increased BMI over the 6 years. Younger participants and those in lower SES neighborhoods were more likely to have increased BMI. Agreement with the statement that traffic made it difficult to walk also predicted increased BMI. Conclusion This study adds to the literature to show that BMI increased in low SES neighborhoods. Although more research is needed to fully understand how neighborhood SES contributes to obesity, it is without question that individuals in socially disadvantaged neighborhoods face more barriers to health than their wealthier counterparts. This study also calls into question the relationship between walkability and changes in BMI and emphasizes the necessity of longitudinal data rather than relying on cross-sectional research. PMID:20157324

  14. Conceptualizing and Comparing Neighborhood and Activity Space Measures for Food Environment Research

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Thomas W.; Pitts, Stephanie B. Jilcott; McGuirt, Jared T.; Keyserling, Thomas C.; Ammerman, Alice S.

    2014-01-01

    Greater accessibility to geospatial technologies has led to a surge of spatialized public health research, much of which has focused on food environments. The purpose of this study was to analyze differing spatial measures of exposure to supermarkets and farmers’ markets among women of reproductive age in eastern North Carolina. Exposure measures were derived using participant-defined neighborhoods, investigator-defined road network neighborhoods, and activity spaces incorporating participants’ time space behaviors. Results showed that mean area for participant-defined neighborhoods (0.04 sq. miles) was much smaller than 2.0 mile road network neighborhoods (3.11 sq. miles) and activity spaces (26.36 sq. miles), and that activity spaces provided the greatest market exposure. The traditional residential neighborhood concept may not be particularly relevant for all places. Time-space approaches capturing activity space may be more relevant, particularly if integrated with mixed methods strategies. PMID:25306420

  15. Characteristics of the Residential Neighborhood Environment Differentiate Intimate Partner Femicide in Urban Versus Rural Settings

    PubMed Central

    Beyer, Kirsten M. M.; Layde, Peter M.; Hamberger, L. Kevin; Laud, Purushottam W.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose A growing body of work examines the association between neighborhood environment and intimate partner violence (IPV). As in the larger literature examining the influence of place context on health, rural settings are understudied and urban and rural residential environments are rarely compared. In addition, despite increased attention to the linkages between neighborhood environment and IPV, few studies have examined the influence of neighborhood context on intimate partner femicide (IPF). In this paper, we examine the role for neighborhood-level factors in differentiating urban and rural IPFs in Wisconsin, USA. Methods We use a combination of Wisconsin Violent Death Reporting System (WVDRS) data and Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV) reports from 2004–2008, in concert with neighborhood-level information from the US Census Bureau and US Department of Agriculture, to compare urban and rural IPFs. Findings Rates of IPF vary based on degree of rurality, and bivariate analyses show differences between urban and rural victims in race/ethnicity, marital status, country of birth, and neighborhood characteristics. After controlling for individual characteristics, the nature of the residential neighborhood environment significantly differentiates urban and rural IPFs. Conclusions Our findings suggest a different role for neighborhood context in affecting intimate violence risk in rural settings, and that different measures may be needed to capture the qualities of rural environments that affect intimate violence risk. Our findings reinforce the argument that multilevel strategies are required to understand and reduce the burden of intimate violence, and that interventions may need to be crafted for specific geographical contexts. PMID:23802930

  16. Fuzzy neighborhood filters for UWB range radios in multipath environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheok, Ka C.; Hudas, Gregory R.; Overholt, James L.

    2008-04-01

    An ultra-wideband (UWB) inter-radio ranging technology with measurement resolution of +/-0.5 ft and range up to 0.5 kilometer under certain FCC regulation was recently introduced. However, measurement data are extremely erroneous due to stochastic variables in the device and multipath radio wave reflections. This paper presents fuzzy logic tuned double tracking filters as a solution to remove misinformation in the data. The 1st tracker locates the overall center of the data in the presence of the large sporadic noise. A fuzzy logic admits only neighborhood data to a 2nd tracker which takes care of smaller deviation noise. The fuzzy neighborhood filter approach has been successfully applied to clean up the UWB radio ranges. Experimental results are shown.

  17. Neighborhood socioeconomic status and food environment: a 20-year longitudinal latent class analysis among CARDIA participants.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Andrea S; Meyer, Katie A; Howard, Annie Green; Boone-Heinonen, Janne; Popkin, Barry M; Evenson, Kelly R; Kiefe, Catarina I; Lewis, Cora E; Gordon-Larsen, Penny

    2014-11-01

    Cross-sectional studies suggest that neighborhood socioeconomic (SES) disadvantage is associated with obesogenic food environments. Yet, it is unknown how exposure to neighborhood SES patterning through adulthood corresponds to food environments that also change over time. We used latent class analysis (LCA) to classify participants in the U.S.-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study [n=5,114 at baseline 1985-1986 to 2005-2006] according to their longitudinal neighborhood SES residency patterns (upward, downward, stable high and stable low). For most classes of residents, the availability of fast food and non-fast food restaurants and supermarkets and convenience stores increased (p<0.001). Yet, socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood residents had fewer fast food and non-fast food restaurants, more convenience stores, and the same number of supermarkets in their neighborhoods than the advantaged residents. In addition to targeting the pervasive fast food restaurant and convenient store retail growth, improving neighborhood restaurant options for disadvantaged residents may reduce food environment disparities. PMID:25280107

  18. Neighborhood socioeconomic status and food environment: a 20-year longitudinal latent class analysis among CARDIA participants

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Andrea S.; Meyer, Katie A.; Howard, Annie Green; Boone-Heinonen, Janne; Popkin, Barry M.; Evenson, Kelly R.; Kiefe, Catarina I.; Lewis, Cora E.; Gordon-Larsen, Penny

    2014-01-01

    Cross-sectional studies suggest neighborhood socioeconomic (SES) disadvantage is associated with obesogenic food environments. Yet, it is unknown how exposure to neighborhood SES patterning through adulthood corresponds to food environments that also change over time. We used latent class analysis (LCA) to classify participants in the US-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study [n=5,114 at baseline 1985-1986 to 2005-2006] according to their longitudinal neighborhood SES residency patterns (upward, downward, stable high and stable low). For all classes of residents, the availability of fast food and non-fast food restaurants and supermarkets and convenience stores increased (p<0.001). Yet, socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood residents had fewer fast food and non-fast food restaurants, more convenience stores, and the same number of supermarkets in their neighborhoods than the advantaged residents. In addition to targeting the pervasive fast food restaurant and convenient store retail growth, improving neighborhood restaurant options for disadvantaged residents may reduce food environment disparities. PMID:25280107

  19. Social neighborhood environment and sports participation among Dutch adults: does sports location matter?

    PubMed

    Kramer, D; Stronks, K; Maas, J; Wingen, M; Kunst, A E

    2015-04-01

    Studies on the relation between the social neighborhood environment and sports participation have produced inconsistent results. Use of generic sports outcomes may have obscured associations only apparent for sports at certain locations. This study aims to assess the association between the social neighborhood environment and three location-specific sports outcomes. Repeated cross-sectional data on sports participation (any type of sports, sports at indoor sports clubs, sports at outdoor sports clubs, sports on streets) were obtained from 20 600 adults using the Dutch national health survey 2006-2009. Data on neighborhood social safety and social capital were obtained using the Dutch Housing Research 2006. Over 40% of Dutch adults participated in any type of sports. Indoor sports clubs were most popular. Multilevel logistic regression analyses revealed that neighborhood social safety was positively associated with sports at indoor sports clubs [odds ratio (OR) = 1.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.06-1.48), but not with the other sports outcomes. Contrary, neighborhood social capital was positively associated with sports on streets only (OR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.17-2.44). The results suggest that a positive social neighborhood environment enhances sports participation, but that this impact depends on the location of the sports activity. This study highlights the importance of using location-specific sports outcomes when assessing environmental determinants. PMID:24506213

  20. Youth dietary intake and weight status: healthful neighborhood food environments enhance the protective role of supportive family home environments.

    PubMed

    Berge, Jerica M; Wall, Melanie; Larson, Nicole; Forsyth, Ann; Bauer, Katherine W; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne

    2014-03-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate individual and joint associations of the home environment and the neighborhood built environment with adolescent dietary patterns and body mass index (BMI) z-score. Racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse adolescents (n=2682; 53.2% girls; mean age14.4 years) participating in the EAT 2010 (Eating and Activity in Teens) study completed height and weight measurements and surveys in Minnesota middle and high schools. Neighborhood variables were measured using Geographic Information Systems data. Multiple regressions of BMI z-score, fruit and vegetable intake, and fast food consumption were fit including home and neighborhood environmental variables as predictors and also including their interactions to test for effect modification. Supportive family environments (i.e., higher family functioning, frequent family meals, and parent modeling of healthful eating) were associated with higher adolescent fruit and vegetable intake, lower fast food consumption, and lower BMI z-score. Associations between the built environment and adolescent outcomes were fewer. Interaction results, although not all consistent, indicated that the relationship between a supportive family environment and adolescent fruit and vegetable intake and BMI was enhanced when the neighborhood was supportive of healthful behavior. Public health interventions that simultaneously improve both the home environment and the neighborhood environment of adolescents may have a greater impact on adolescent obesity prevention than interventions that address one of these environments alone. PMID:24378461

  1. Neighborhood food environment role in modifying psychosocial stress-diet relationships

    PubMed Central

    Zenk, Shannon N.; Schulz, Amy J.; Izumi, Betty T.; Mentz, Graciela; Israel, Barbara A.; Lockett, Murlisa

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to highly palatable foods may increase eating in response to stress, but this behavioral response has not been examined in relation to the neighborhood food environment. This study examined whether the neighborhood food environment modified relationships between psychosocial stress and dietary behaviors. Probability-sample survey (n=460) and in-person food environment audit data were used. Dietary behaviors were measured using 17 snack food items and a single eating-out-of-home item. Chronic stress was derived from five subscales; major life events was a count of 9 items. The neighborhood food environment was measured as availability of large grocery stores, small grocery stores, and convenience stores, as well as proportion of restaurants that were fast food. Two-level hierarchical regression models were estimated. Snack food intake was positively associated with convenience store availability and negatively associated with large grocery store availability. The measures of chronic stress and major life events were generally not associated with either dietary behavior overall, although Latinos were less likely to eat out at high levels of major life events than African Americans. Stress-neighborhood food environment interactions were not statistically significant. Important questions remain regarding the role of the neighborhood food environment in the stress-diet relationship that warrant further investigation. PMID:23415977

  2. Living environment matters: relationships between neighborhood characteristics and health of the residents in a Dutch municipality.

    PubMed

    Putrik, Polina; de Vries, Nanne K; Mujakovic, Suhreta; van Amelsvoort, Ludovic; Kant, Ijmert; Kunst, Anton E; van Oers, Hans; Jansen, Maria

    2015-02-01

    Characteristics of an individual alone cannot exhaustively explain all the causes of poor health, and neighborhood of residence have been suggested to be one of the factors that contribute to health. However, knowledge about aspects of the neighborhood that are most important to health is limited. The main objective of this study was to explore associations between certain features of neighborhood environment and self-rated health and depressive symptoms in Maastricht (The Netherlands). A large amount of routinely collected neighborhood data were aggregated by means of factor analysis to 18 characteristics of neighborhood social and physical environment. Associations between these characteristics and self-rated health and presence of depressive symptoms were further explored in multilevel logistic regression models adjusted for individual demographic and socio-economic factors. The study sample consisted of 9,879 residents (mean age 55 years, 48 % male). Residents of unsafe communities were less likely to report good health (OR 0.88 95 % CI 0.80-0.97) and depressive symptoms (OR 0.81 95 % CI 0.69-0.97), and less cohesive environment was related to worse self-rated health (OR 0.81 95 % CI 0.72-0.92). Residents of neighborhoods with more car traffic nuisance and more disturbance from railway noise reported worse mental health (OR 0.79 95 % CI 0.68-0.92 and 0.85 95 % CI 0.73-0.99, respectively). We did not observe any association between health and quality of parking and shopping facilities, facilities for public or private transport, neighborhood aesthetics, green space, industrial nuisance, sewerage, neighbor nuisance or satisfaction with police performance. Our findings can be used to support development of integrated health policies targeting broader determinants of health. Improving safety, social cohesion and decreasing traffic nuisance in disadvantaged neighborhoods might be a promising way to improve the health of residents and reduce health inequalities. PMID

  3. Neighborhood and home food environment and children's diet and obesity: Evidence from military personnel's installation assignment.

    PubMed

    Shier, Victoria; Nicosia, Nancy; Datar, Ashlesha

    2016-06-01

    Research and policy initiatives are increasingly focused on the role of neighborhood food environment in children's diet and obesity. However, existing evidence relies on observational data that is limited by neighborhood selection bias. The Military Teenagers' Environments, Exercise, and Nutrition Study (M-TEENS) leverages the quasi-random variation in neighborhood environment generated by military personnel's assignment to installations to examine whether neighborhood food environments are associated with children's dietary behaviors and BMI. Our results suggest that neither the actual nor the perceived availability of particular food outlets in the neighborhood is associated with children's diet or BMI. The availability of supermarkets and convenience stores in the neighborhood was not associated with where families shop for food or children's dietary behaviors. Further, the type of store that families shop at was not associated with the healthiness of food available at home. Similarly, availability of fast food and restaurants was unrelated to children's dietary behaviors or how often children eat fast food or restaurant meals. However, the healthiness of food available at home was associated with healthy dietary behaviors while eating at fast food outlets and restaurants were associated with unhealthy dietary behaviors in children. Further, parental supervision, including limits on snack foods and meals eaten as a family, was associated with dietary behaviors. These findings suggest that focusing only on the neighborhood food environment may ignore important factors that influence children's outcomes. Future research should also consider how families make decisions about what foods to purchase, where to shop for foods and eating out, how closely to monitor their children's food intake, and, ultimately how these decisions collectively impact children's outcomes. PMID:27135542

  4. Perceived neighborhood environment and physical activity in 11 countries: Do associations differ by country?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Increasing empirical evidence supports associations between neighborhood environments and physical activity. However, since most studies were conducted in a single country, particularly western countries, the generalizability of associations in an international setting is not well understood. The current study examined whether associations between perceived attributes of neighborhood environments and physical activity differed by country. Methods Population representative samples from 11 countries on five continents were surveyed using comparable methodologies and measurement instruments. Neighborhood environment × country interactions were tested in logistic regression models with meeting physical activity recommendations as the outcome, adjusted for demographic characteristics. Country-specific associations were reported. Results Significant neighborhood environment attribute × country interactions implied some differences across countries in the association of each neighborhood attribute with meeting physical activity recommendations. Across the 11 countries, land-use mix and sidewalks had the most consistent associations with physical activity. Access to public transit, bicycle facilities, and low-cost recreation facilities had some associations with physical activity, but with less consistency across countries. There was little evidence supporting the associations of residential density and crime-related safety with physical activity in most countries. Conclusion There is evidence of generalizability for the associations of land use mix, and presence of sidewalks with physical activity. Associations of other neighborhood characteristics with physical activity tended to differ by country. Future studies should include objective measures of neighborhood environments, compare psychometric properties of reports across countries, and use better specified models to further understand the similarities and differences in associations across countries

  5. Mixed land use and walkability: Variations in land use measures and relationships with BMI, overweight, and obesity

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Barbara B.; Yamada, Ikuho; Smith, Ken R.; Zick, Cathleen D.; Kowaleski-Jones, Lori; Fan, Jessie X.

    2009-01-01

    Few studies compare alternative measures of land use diversity or mix in relationship to body mass index. We compare four types of diversity measures: entropy scores (measures of equal distributions of walkable land use categories), distances to walkable destinations (parks and transit stops), proxy measures of mixed use (walk to work measures and neighborhood housing ages), and land use categories used in entropy scores. Generalized estimating equations, conducted on 5000 randomly chosen licensed drivers aged 25 to 64 in Salt Lake County, Utah, relate lower BMIs to older neighborhoods, components of a 6-category land use entropy score, and nearby light rail stops. Thus the presence of walkable land uses, rather than their equal mixture, relates to healthy weight. PMID:19632875

  6. Mixed land use and walkability: Variations in land use measures and relationships with BMI, overweight, and obesity.

    PubMed

    Brown, Barbara B; Yamada, Ikuho; Smith, Ken R; Zick, Cathleen D; Kowaleski-Jones, Lori; Fan, Jessie X

    2009-12-01

    Few studies compare alternative measures of land use diversity or mix in relationship to body mass index. We compare four types of diversity measures: entropy scores (measures of equal distributions of walkable land use categories), distances to walkable destinations (parks and transit stops), proxy measures of mixed use (walk to work measures and neighborhood housing ages), and land use categories used in entropy scores. Generalized estimating equations, conducted on 5000 randomly chosen licensed drivers aged 25-64 in Salt Lake County, Utah, relate lower BMIs to older neighborhoods, components of a 6-category land use entropy score, and nearby light rail stops. Thus the presence of walkable land uses, rather than their equal mixture, relates to healthy weight. PMID:19632875

  7. The Built Environment and Risk of Obesity in the United States: Racial-Ethnic Disparities

    PubMed Central

    Kowaleski-Jones, Lori

    2012-01-01

    Using data from the 2003–2008 waves of the continuous National Health Nutrition Examination Survey merged with the 2000 census and GIS-based data, this study conducted genderspecific analyses to explore whether neighborhood built environment attributes are significant correlates of obesity risk and mediators of obesity disparities by race-ethnicity. Results indicate that the built environment is a significant correlate of obesity risk but is not much of a mediator of obesity disparities by race-ethnicity. Neighborhood walkability, density, and distance to parks are significant covariates of obesity risks net of individual and neighborhood controls. Gender differences are found for some of these associations. PMID:23099113

  8. Examining the Relationship between Neighborhood Environment and School Readiness for Kindergarten Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lapointe, Vanessa R.; Ford, Laurie; Zumbo, Bruno D.

    2007-01-01

    In the current research project, the relationship between neighborhood environment and school readiness was investigated. To measure neighbourhood environment, data from the 2001 Canadian Census were used, while school readiness was measured using the Early Development Instrument (EDI). EDI data were collected for kindergarten children across…

  9. Beyond Neighborhood Food Environments: Distance Traveled to Food Establishments in 5 US Cities, 2009–2011

    PubMed Central

    Han, Bing; Cohen, Deborah A.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Accurate conceptualizations of neighborhood environments are important in the design of policies and programs aiming to improve access to healthy food. Neighborhood environments are often defined by administrative units or buffers around points of interest. An individual may eat and shop for food within or outside these areas, which may not reflect accessibility of food establishments. This article examines the relevance of different definitions of food environments. Methods We collected data on trips to food establishments using a 1-week food and travel diary and global positioning system devices. Spatial-temporal clustering methods were applied to identify homes and food establishments visited by study participants. Results We identified 513 visits to food establishments (sit-down restaurants, fast-food/convenience stores, malls or stores, groceries/supermarkets) by 135 participants in 5 US cities. The average distance between the food establishments and homes was 2.6 miles (standard deviation, 3.7 miles). Only 34% of the visited food establishments were within participants’ neighborhood census tract. Buffers of 1 or 2 miles around the home covered 55% to 65% of visited food establishments. There was a significant difference in the mean distances to food establishments types (P = .008). On average, participants traveled the longest distances to restaurants and the shortest distances to groceries/supermarkets. Conclusion Many definitions of the neighborhood food environment are misaligned with individual travel patterns, which may help explain the mixed findings in studies of neighborhood food environments. Neighborhood environments defined by actual travel activity may provide more insight on how the food environment influences dietary and food shopping choices. PMID:26247426

  10. ‘LONESOME TOWN’? IS LONELINESS ASSOCIATED WITH THE RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENT, INCLUDING HOUSING AND NEIGHBORHOOD FACTORS?

    PubMed Central

    Whitley, Elise; Tannahill, Carol; Ellaway, Anne

    2015-01-01

    This article considers whether feelings of loneliness are associated with aspects of the home and neighborhood of residence. Multinominal logistic regression models were used to explore associations between residential environment and loneliness in 4,000 residents across deprived areas of Glasgow. People who rated their neighborhood environment of higher quality and who used more local amenities were less likely to report loneliness. Respondents who knew more people within the local area were less likely to report loneliness. Those who reported more antisocial behavior problems, who had a weak perception of collective efficacy, and who felt unsafe walking alone at nighttime were more likely to report loneliness. Length of residence and dwelling type were not associated with reported loneliness. The findings indicate the potential importance of several dimensions of the neighborhood physical, service, and social environment, including aspects of both quality and trust, in protecting against or reducing loneliness in deprived areas. PMID:26740728

  11. Neighborhood Environments and Incident Hypertension in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Paulina; Diez Roux, Ana V; Mujahid, Mahasin; Carnethon, Mercedes; Bertoni, Alain; Adar, Sara D; Shea, Steven; McClelland, Robyn; Lisabeth, Lynda

    2016-06-01

    We examined relationships between neighborhood physical and social environments and incidence of hypertension in a cohort of 3,382 adults at 6 sites in the United States over 10 years of follow-up (2000-2011), using data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. The sample was aged 45-84 years (mean = 59 years) and free of clinical cardiovascular disease and hypertension at baseline. Of the participants, 51% were female, 44% white, 23% Hispanic, 21% black, and 13% Chinese-American; 39% of participants developed hypertension during an average of 7.2 years of follow-up. Cox models were used to estimate associations of time-varying cumulative average neighborhood features (survey-based healthy food availability, walking environment, social cohesion, safety, and geographic information system-based density of favorable food stores and recreational resources) with incident hypertension. After adjustment for individual and neighborhood-level covariates, a 1-standard-deviation increase in healthy food availability was associated with a 12% lower rate of hypertension (hazard ratio = 0.88, 95% confidence interval: 0.82, 0.95). Other neighborhood features were not related to incidence of hypertension. The neighborhood food environment is related to the risk of hypertension. PMID:27188946

  12. Partnering with Youth to Map Their Neighborhood Environments: A Multi-Layered GIS Approach

    PubMed Central

    Topmiller, Michael; Jacquez, Farrah; Vissman, Aaron T.; Raleigh, Kevin; Miller-Francis, Jenni

    2014-01-01

    Mapping approaches offer great potential for community-based participatory researchers interested in displaying youth perceptions and advocating for change. We describe a multi-layered approach for gaining local knowledge of neighborhood environments that engages youth as co-researchers and active knowledge producers. By integrating geographic information systems (GIS) with environmental audits, an interactive focus group, and sketch mapping, the approach provides a place-based understanding of physical activity resources from the situated experience of youth. Youth report safety and a lack of recreational resources as inhibiting physical activity. Maps reflecting youth perceptions aid policy-makers in making place-based improvements for youth neighborhood environments. PMID:25423245

  13. Comparing sugary drinks in the food retail environment in six NYC neighborhoods.

    PubMed

    Adjoian, Tamar; Dannefer, Rachel; Sacks, Rachel; Van Wye, Gretchen

    2014-04-01

    Obesity is a national public health concern linked to numerous chronic health conditions among Americans of all age groups. Evidence suggests that discretionary calories from sugary drink consumption have been a significant contributor to excess caloric intake among both children and adults. Research has established strong links between retail food environments and purchasing habits of consumers, but little information exists on the sugary drink retail environment in urban neighborhoods. The objective of this assessment was to compare various aspects of the sugary drink retail environment across New York City (NYC) neighborhoods with disparate self-reported sugary drink consumption patterns. In-store retail audits were conducted at 883 corner stores, chain pharmacies, and grocery stores in 12 zip codes throughout NYC. Results showed that among all beverage types assessed, sugary drinks had the most prominent presence in the retail environment overall, which was even more pronounced in higher-consumption neighborhoods. In higher- versus lower-consumption neighborhoods, the mean number of sugary drink varieties available at stores was higher (11.4 vs. 10.4 varieties), stores were more likely to feature sugary drink advertising (97 vs. 89 %) and advertising at multiple places throughout the store (78 vs. 57 %), and several sugary drinks, including 20-oz Coke® or Pepsi®, were less expensive ($1.38 vs. $1.60). These results, all statistically significant, indicate that neighborhoods characterized by higher levels of sugary drink consumption expose shoppers to sugary drinks to a greater extent than lower-consumption neighborhoods. This builds upon evidence documenting the association between the environment and individual behavior. PMID:24043480

  14. Chicago Residents’ Perceptions of Air Quality: Objective Pollution, the Built Environment, and Neighborhood Stigma Theory

    PubMed Central

    King, Katherine E.

    2014-01-01

    Substantial research documents higher pollution levels in minority neighborhoods, but little research evaluates how residents perceive their own communities’ pollution risks. According to “Neighborhood stigma” theory, survey respondents share a cultural bias that minorities cause social dysfunction, leading to over-reports of dysfunction in minority communities. This study investigates perceptions of residential outdoor air quality by linking objective data on built and social environments with multiple measures of pollution and a representative survey of Chicago residents. Consistent with the scholarly narrative, results show air quality is rated worse where minorities and poverty are concentrated, even after extensive adjustment for objective pollution and built environment measures. Perceptions of air pollution may thus be driven by neighborhood socioeconomic position far more than by respondents’ ability to perceive pollution. The finding that 63.5% of the sample reported excellent or good air quality helps to explain current challenging in promoting environmental action. PMID:26527847

  15. Constrained, Convenient, and Symbolic Consumption: Neighborhood Food Environments and Economic Coping Strategies among the Urban Poor.

    PubMed

    Tach, Laura; Amorim, Mariana

    2015-10-01

    Residents of poor and minority neighborhoods have less access to healthy, affordable food than their counterparts in more advantaged neighborhoods, and these disparities translate into population-level health disparities by race and socioeconomic status. Current research debates the extent of these disparities and how they translate into unequal health outcomes, but it has paid less attention to the micro-level decision-making processes and strategies residents employ to access food in the context of constrained personal and neighborhood resources. We examined this gap in the literature using data from in-depth qualitative interviews with 66 poor residents of three urban neighborhoods with varying nutritional environments. We found that economic and geographic constraints strongly influenced where and how residents shopped, but within those constraints, residents developed a number of adaptive strategies to maximize the quality and variety of their groceries. We also found that higher-quality stores and purchases were important to residents not only for their material benefits-such as health and cost-but also for their symbolic value. The presence of many stores, close stores, and high-quality stores offered opportunities for symbolic consumption and boosted neighborhood reputations but also created settings for social exclusion. These results illuminate how inequalities in nutritional environments shape residents' lived experiences and highlight residents' agency and resourcefulness in responding to such constraints. PMID:26382655

  16. Improving the Neighborhood Environment for Urban Older Adults: Social Context and Self-Rated Health

    PubMed Central

    Mathis, Arlesia; Rooks, Ronica; Kruger, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Objective: By 2030, older adults will account for 20% of the U.S. population. Over 80% of older adults live in urban areas. This study examines associations between neighborhood environment and self-rated health (SRH) among urban older adults. Methods: We selected 217 individuals aged 65+ living in a deindustrialized Midwestern city who answered questions on the 2009 Speak to Your Health survey. The relationship between neighborhood environment and self-rated health (SRH) was analyzed using regression and GIS models. Neighborhood variables included social support and participation, perceived racism and crime. Additional models included actual crime indices to compare differences between perceived and actual crime. Results: Seniors who have poor SRH are 21% more likely to report fear of crime than seniors with excellent SRH (p = 0.01). Additional analyses revealed Black seniors are 7% less likely to participate in social activities (p = 0.005) and 4% more likely to report experiencing racism (p < 0.001). Discussion: Given the increasing numbers of older adults living in urban neighborhoods, studies such as this one are important for well-being among seniors. Mitigating environmental influences in the neighborhood which are associated with poor SRH may allow urban older adults to maintain health and reduce disability. PMID:26703659

  17. Does neighborhood environment influence girls' pubertal onset? findings from a cohort study

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Pubertal onset occurs earlier than in the past among U.S. girls. Early onset is associated with numerous deleterious outcomes across the life course, including overweight, breast cancer and cardiovascular health. Increases in childhood overweight have been implicated as a key reason for this secular trend. Scarce research, however, has examined how neighborhood environment may influence overweight and, in turn, pubertal timing. The current study prospectively examined associations between neighborhood environment and timing of pubertal onset in a multi-ethnic cohort of girls. Body mass index (BMI) was examined as a mediator of these associations. Methods Participants were 213 girls, 6-8 years old at baseline, in an on-going longitudinal study. The current report is based on 5 time points (baseline and 4 annual follow-up visits). Neighborhood environment, assessed at baseline, used direct observation. Tanner stage and anthropometry were assessed annually in clinic. Survival analysis was utilized to investigate the influence of neighborhood factors on breast and pubic hair onset, with BMI as a mediator. We also examined the modifying role of girls' ethnicity. Results When adjusting for income, one neighborhood factor (Recreation) predicted delayed onset of breast and pubic hair development, but only for African American girls. BMI did not mediate the association between Recreation and pubertal onset; however, these associations persisted when BMI was included in the models. Conclusions For African American girls, but not girls from other ethnic groups, neighborhood availability of recreational outlets was associated with onset of breast and pubic hair. Given the documented risk for early puberty among African American girls, these findings have important potential implications for public health interventions related to timing of puberty and related health outcomes in adolescence and adulthood. PMID:22414266

  18. Neighborhood Environment, Self-Efficacy, and Physical Activity in Urban Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Voorhees, Carolyn C.; Yan, Alice F.; Clifton, Kelly J.; Wang, Min Qi

    2011-01-01

    Objectives: To test the pathways between perceptions of built environment factors and physical activity in urban youth. Methods: Three hundred fifty high school students' perceptions of neighborhood, and barrier self efficacy were measured by a Web survey. Physical activities were assessed using a one-week diary and accelerometers. Results:…

  19. The Stanford Healthy Neighborhood Discovery Tool

    PubMed Central

    Buman, Matthew P.; Winter, Sandra J.; Sheats, Jylana L.; Hekler, Eric B.; Otten, Jennifer J.; Grieco, Lauren A.; King, Abby C.

    2013-01-01

    Background The built environment can influence physical activity, particularly among older populations with impaired mobility. Existing tools to assess environmental features associated with walkability are often cumbersome, require extensive training, and are not readily available for use by community residents. Purpose This project aimed to develop and evaluate the utility of a computerized, tablet-based participatory tool designed to engage older residents in identifying neighborhood elements that affect active living opportunities. Methods Following formative testing, the tool was used by older adults (aged ≥65 years, in 2011) to record common walking routes (tracked using built-in GPS) and geocoded audio narratives and photographs of the local neighborhood environment. Residents (N=27; 73% women; 77% with some college education; 42% used assistive devices) from three low-income communal senior housing sites used the tool while navigating their usual walking route in their neighborhood. Data were analyzed in 2012. Results Elements (from 464 audio narratives and photographs) identified as affecting active living were commensurate with the existing literature (e.g., sidewalk features, aesthetics, parks/playgrounds, crosswalks). However, within each housing site, the profile of environmental elements identified was distinct, reflecting the importance of granular-level information collected by the tool. Additionally, consensus among residents was reached regarding which elements affected active living opportunities. Conclusions This tool serves to complement other assessments and assist decision makers in consensus-building processes for environmental change. PMID:23498112

  20. Untangling the associations among distrust, race, and neighborhood social environment: a social disorganization perspective.

    PubMed

    Shoff, Carla; Yang, Tse-Chuan

    2012-05-01

    Over the past decade, interest in exploring how health care system distrust is associated with individual health outcomes and behaviors has grown substantially, and the racial difference in distrust has been well documented, with African Americans demonstrating higher distrust than whites. However, relatively little is known about whether the individual-level determinants of distrust differ by various dimensions of distrust, and even less is understood regarding whether the race-distrust association could be moderated by the neighborhood social environment. This study used a dual-dimensional distrust scale (values and competence distrust), and applied social disorganization theory to address these gaps. We combined the 2008 Philadelphia Health Management Corporation's household survey (N = 3746 adult respondents, 51% of which are of African American race) with neighborhood-level data (N = 45 neighborhoods) maintained by the 2000 U.S. Census and the Philadelphia Police Department. Using multilevel modeling, we found that first, after controlling for individual- and neighborhood-level covariates, African American residents have greater values distrust than whites, but no racial difference was found in competence distrust; second, competence distrust is more likely to be determined by personal health status and access to health care services than is values distrust; and third, ceteris paribus, the association between race and values distrust was weakened by the increasing level of neighborhood stability. These results not only indicate that different aspects of distrust may be determined via different mechanisms, but also suggest that establishing a stable neighborhood may ameliorate the level of distrust in the health care system among African Americans. As distrust has been identified as a barrier to medical research, the insight provided by this study can be applied to develop a health care system that is trusted, which will, in turn, improve population health

  1. Untangling the associations among distrust, race, and neighborhood social environment: A social disorganization perspective

    PubMed Central

    Shoff, Carla; Yang, Tse-Chuan

    2012-01-01

    Over the past decade, interest in exploring how health care system distrust is associated with individual health outcomes and behaviors has grown substantially, and the racial difference in distrust has been well documented, with African Americans demonstrating higher distrust than whites. However, relatively little is known about whether the individual-level determinants of distrust differ by various dimensions of distrust, and even less is understood regarding whether the race-distrust association could be moderated by the neighborhood social environment. This study used a dual-dimensional distrust scale (values and competence distrust), and applied social disorganization theory to address these gaps. We combined the 2008 Philadelphia Health Management Corporation’s household survey (N=3,746 adult respondents, 51% of which are of African American race) with neighborhood-level data (N= 45 neighborhoods) maintained by the 2000 US Census and the Philadelphia Police Department. Using multilevel modeling, we found that first, after controlling for individual- and neighborhood-level covariates, African American residents have greater values distrust than whites, but no racial difference was found in competence distrust; second, competence distrust is more likely to be determined by personal health status and access to health care services than is values distrust; and third, ceteris paribus, the association between race and values distrust was weakened by the increasing level of neighborhood stability. These results not only indicate that different aspects of distrust may be determined via different mechanisms, but also suggest that establishing a stable neighborhood may ameliorate the level of distrust in the health care system among African Americans. As distrust has been identified as a barrier to medical research, the insight provided by this study can be applied to develop a health care system that is trusted, which will, in turn, improve population health. PMID

  2. A qualitative examination of home and neighborhood environments for obesity prevention in rural adults

    PubMed Central

    Kegler, Michelle C; Escoffery, Cam; Alcantara, Iris; Ballard, Denise; Glanz, Karen

    2008-01-01

    Background The home and neighborhood environments may be important in obesity prevention by virtue of food availability, food preparation, cues and opportunities for physical activity, and family support. To date, little research has examined how home and neighborhood environments in rural communities may support or hinder healthy eating and physical activity. This paper reports characteristics of rural homes and neighborhoods related to physical activity environments, availability of healthy foods, and family support for physical activity and maintaining an ideal body weight. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted with 60 African American and White adults over 50 years of age in two rural counties in Southwest Georgia. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded independently by two members of the research team using standard methods of qualitative analysis. Themes were then identified and data matrices were used to identify patterns by gender or race. Results Neighborhood features that supported physical activity were plenty of land, minimal traffic and living in a safe and friendly neighborhood. The major barrier was lack of recreational facilities. The majority of participants were not physically active with their family members due to schedule conflicts and lack of time. Family member-initiated efforts to encourage physical activity met with mixed results, with refusals, procrastination, and increased activity all reported. Participants generally reported it was easy to get healthy foods, although cost barriers and the need to drive to a larger town for a supermarket with good variety were noted as obstacles. Family conversations about weight had occurred for about half of the participants, with reactions ranging from agreement about the need to lose weight to frustration. Conclusion This study suggests that successful environmental change strategies to promote physical activity and healthy eating in rural neighborhoods may differ from those used in

  3. The association between green neighborhood environments and active transportation

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background: Urban nature is an important aspect of health-promoting environments. In particular, street trees and green space can provide a low cost approach to improving public health by promoting physical activity, improving mental health, and facilitating social cohesion. Acti...

  4. Reliable and valid NEWS for Chinese seniors: measuring perceived neighborhood attributes related to walking

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The effects of the built environment on walking in seniors have not been studied in an Asian context. To examine these effects, valid and reliable measures are needed. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a questionnaire of perceived neighborhood characteristics related to walking appropriate for Chinese seniors (Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale for Chinese Seniors, NEWS-CS). It was based on the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale - Abbreviated (NEWS-A), a validated measure of perceived built environment developed in the USA for adults. A secondary study aim was to establish the generalizability of the NEWS-A to an Asian high-density urban context and a different age group. Methods A multidisciplinary panel of experts adapted the original NEWS-A to reflect the built environment of Hong Kong and needs of seniors. The translated instrument was pre-tested on a sample of 50 Chinese-speaking senior residents (65+ years). The final version of the NEWS-CS was interviewer-administered to 484 seniors residing in four selected Hong Kong districts varying in walkability and socio-economic status. Ninety-two participants completed the questionnaire on two separate occasions, 2-3 weeks apart. Test-rest reliability indices were estimated for each item and subscale of the NEWS-CS. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to develop the measurement model of the NEWS-CS and cross-validate that of the NEWS-A. Results The final version of the NEWS-CS consisted of 14 subscales and four single items (76 items). Test-retest reliability was moderate to good (ICC > 50 or % agreement > 60) except for four items measuring distance to destinations. The originally-proposed measurement models of the NEWS-A and NEWS-CS required 2-3 theoretically-justifiable modifications to fit the data well. Conclusions The NEWS-CS possesses sufficient levels of reliability and factorial validity to be used for measuring perceived neighborhood environment in Chinese

  5. The influence of the neighborhood physical environment on early child health and development: A review and call for research.

    PubMed

    Christian, Hayley; Zubrick, Stephen R; Foster, Sarah; Giles-Corti, Billie; Bull, Fiona; Wood, Lisa; Knuiman, Matthew; Brinkman, Sally; Houghton, Stephen; Boruff, Bryan

    2015-05-01

    This review examines evidence of the association between the neighborhood built environment, green spaces and outdoor home area, and early (0-7 years) child health and development. There was evidence that the presence of child relevant neighborhood destinations and services were positively associated with early child development domains of physical health and wellbeing and social competence. Parents׳ perceptions of neighborhood safety were positively associated with children׳s social-emotional development and general health. Population representative studies using objective measures of the built environment and valid measures of early child development are warranted to understand the impact of the built environment on early child health and development. PMID:25744220

  6. Understanding the Positive Role of Neighborhood Socioeconomic Advantage in Achievement: The Contribution of the Home, Child Care and School Environments

    PubMed Central

    Dupéré, Véronique; Leventhal, Tama; Crosnoe, Robert; Dion, Éric

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this study was to examine the mechanisms underlying associations between neighborhood socioeconomic advantage and children’s achievement trajectories between 54 months and 15 years old. Results of hierarchical linear growth models based on a diverse sample of 1,364 children indicate that neighborhood socioeconomic advantage was non-linearly associated with youths’ initial vocabulary and reading scores, such that the presence of educated, affluent professionals in the neighborhood had a favorable association with children’s achievement among those in less advantaged neighborhoods until it leveled off at moderate levels of advantage. A similar tendency was observed for math achievement. The quality of the home and child care environments as well as school advantage partially explained these associations. The findings suggest that multiple environments need to be considered simultaneously for understanding neighborhood-achievement links. PMID:20822235

  7. The Neighborhood Food Resource Environment and the Health of Residents with Chronic Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Vargas, Roberto B.; Ang, Alfonso; Pebley, Anne R.

    2008-01-01

    Background Residence in disadvantaged neighborhoods is associated with poorer access to healthy foods. Objective To understand associations between the neighborhood food resource environment and residents’ health status and body mass index (BMI) for adults with and without chronic conditions. Design Cross-sectional multilevel analysis. Participants 2,536 adults from the 2000–2001 Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey. Measurements The food resource environment was defined as the number of chain supermarkets, independent supermarkets, small markets, or convenience stores per roadway miles in the census tract. The main dependent variables were self-rated health, dichotomized as excellent or fair/poor, and body mass index (BMI). Multilevel regression models examined the association between the food resource environment and both BMI and the odds of reporting excellent health after adjustment for neighborhood SES and individual characteristics. Results More chain supermarkets per roadway mile in a census tract was associated with higher adjusted rates of reporting excellent health (33%, 38%, and 43% for those in the lowest, middle, and highest tertiles of chain supermarkets) and lower adjusted mean BMI (27, 26, and 25 kg/m2) for residents without a chronic condition, but not those with a chronic condition. In contrast, having more convenience stores per roadway mile was associated with lower health ratings only among adults with a chronic condition (39%, 32%, and 27% for the lowest to highest tertile of convenience stores). Conclusion Health status and BMI are associated with the local food environment, but the associations differ by type of market and presence of a chronic condition. PMID:18483833

  8. The influence of neighborhood environment on the incidence of childhood asthma: A propensity score approach

    PubMed Central

    Juhn, Young J.; Qin, Rui; Urm, Sanghwa; Katusic, Slavica; Vargas-Chanes, Delfino

    2010-01-01

    Background The propensity score method has been underused in research concerning asthma epidemiology, which is useful for addressing covariate imbalance in observational studies. Objective: To examine the impact of neighborhood environment on asthma incidence by applying the propensity score method. Methods The study was designed as a retrospective cohort study. Study subjects were all children born in Rochester, Minn, between 1976 and 1979. Asthma status was previously determined by applying predetermined criteria. We applied the propensity score method to match children who lived in census tracts facing or not facing intersections with major highways or railroads. The propensity score of children living in a census tract facing intersections was formulated from a logistic regression model with 16 variables that may not be balanced between comparison groups. The Cox proportional hazard models were used in the matched samples to estimate hazard ratios of neighborhood environment and some other variables of interest and their corresponding 95% CIs. Results After matching with propensity scores, we found that children who lived in census tracts facing intersections with major highways or railroads had a higher risk of asthma (hazard ratios, 1.385–1.669 depending on the matching methods) compared with the matched counterparts who lived in census tracts not facing intersections with major highways or railroads. Conclusion Neighborhood environment may be an important risk factor in understanding the development of pediatric asthma. The propensity score method is a useful tool in addressing covariate imbalance and exploring for causal effect in studying asthma epidemiology. PMID:20236695

  9. Contribution of the Neighborhood Environment and Obesity to Breast Cancer Survival: The California Breast Cancer Survivorship Consortium

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Iona; Shariff-Marco, Salma; Koo, Jocelyn; Monroe, Kristine R.; Yang, Juan; John, Esther M.; Kurian, Allison W.; Kwan, Marilyn L.; Henderson, Brian E.; Bernstein, Leslie; Lu, Yani; Sposto, Richard; Vigen, Cheryl; Wu, Anna H.; Gomez, Scarlett Lin; Keegan, Theresa H.M.

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about neighborhood attributes that may influence opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity in relation to breast cancer mortality. We used data from the California Breast Cancer Survivorship Consortium and the California Neighborhoods Data System to examine the neighborhood environment, body mass index, and mortality after breast cancer. We studied 8,995 African American, Asian American, Latina, and non-Latina White women with breast cancer. Residential addresses were linked to the CNDS to characterize neighborhoods. We used multinomial logistic regression to evaluate the associations between neighborhood factors and obesity, and Cox proportional hazards regression to examine associations between neighborhood factors and mortality. For Latinas, obesity was associated with more neighborhood crowding (Quartile 4 (Q4) vs. Q1: Odds Ratio (OR)=3.24; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.50-7.00); breast cancer-specific mortality was inversely associated with neighborhood businesses (Q4 vs. Q1: Hazard Ratio (HR)=0.46; 95% CI: 0.25-0.85) and positively associated with multi-family housing (Q3 vs. Q1: HR=1.98; 95% CI: 1.20-3.26). For non-Latina Whites, lower neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) was associated with obesity (Quintile 1 (Q1) vs. Q5: OR=2.52; 95% CI: 1.31-4.84), breast cancer-specific (Q1 vs. Q5: HR=2.75; 95% CI: 1.47-5.12), and all-cause (Q1 vs. Q5: HR=1.75; 95% CI: 1.17-2.62) mortality. For Asian Americans, no associations were seen. For African Americans, lower neighborhood SES was associated with lower mortality in a nonlinear fashion. Attributes of the neighborhood environment were associated with obesity and mortality following breast cancer diagnosis, but these associations differed across racial/ethnic groups. PMID:26063477

  10. Walkability is Only Part of the Story: Walking for Transportation in Stuttgart, Germany

    PubMed Central

    Reyer, Maren; Fina, Stefan; Siedentop, Stefan; Schlicht, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    In modern Western societies people often lead inactive and sedentary lifestyles, even though there is no doubt that physical activity and health are related. From an urban planning point of view it would be highly desirable to develop built environments in a way that supports people in leading more active and healthy lifestyles. Within this context there are several methods, predominantly used in the US, to measure the suitability of built environments for walking and cycling. Empirical studies show that people living in highly walkable areas are more physically active (for example, walk more or cycle more). The question is, however, whether these results are also valid for European cities given their different urban planning characteristics and infrastructure standards. To answer this question we used the Walkability-Index and the Walk Score to empirically investigate the associations between walkability and active transportation in the city of Stuttgart, Germany. In a sample of household survey data (n = 1.871) we found a noticeable relationship between walkability and active transportation—the more walkable an area was, the more active residents were. Although the statistical effect is small, the health impact might be of relevance. Being physically active is multi-determined and not only affected by the walkability of an area. We highlight these points with an excursion into research that the health and exercise sciences contribute to the topic. We propose to strengthen interdisciplinary research between the disciplines and to specifically collect data that captures the influence of the environment on physical activity in the future. PMID:24886755

  11. Perceived built environment and health-related quality of life in four types of neighborhoods in Xi'an, China.

    PubMed

    Gao, Meiling; Ahern, Jennifer; Koshland, Catherine P

    2016-05-01

    Development in Chinese cities is resulting in a diversity of urban environments that may influence health. In a cross-sectional study of 1608 adults in 20 neighborhoods of Xi'an, China, we examined perceptions of neighborhoods using the NEWS-A survey and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) from the SF-12 across four types of neighborhoods: old/planned, old/unplanned, new/high density, and new/low density. Increased accessibility was significantly associated with both higher mental (range: 3.13-5.53 points) and physical (range: 2.06-3.54 points) well-being for all types of neighborhoods. In the new neighborhoods, increased perceived diversity, safety, and esthetics were significantly associated with higher physical and mental well-being. This study can help inform urban planning priorities to improve quality of life as Chinese cities develop. PMID:27055241

  12. The Influence of Parental Nativity, Neighborhood Disadvantage and the Built Environment on Physical Activity Behaviors in Latino Youth

    PubMed Central

    Ohri-Vachaspati, Punam; Yedidia, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Little evidence exists examining if parental nativity, neighborhood disadvantage and built environment features are associated with physical activity behaviors in Latino youth. We used a representative sample of Latino youth (n = 616) living in New Jersey to examine parental nativity associations with active transport to school, active use of sidewalks, use of local neighborhood parks, and use of neighborhood physical activity facilities. We estimated prevalence ratios (PR) that accounted for the complex survey design. Latino youth with foreign-born parents were generally more active than their US-born peers, and those with parents in the US 10 years or less were more likely to engage in active transport to school (PR = 1.51, 95 % CI 1.04–2.21), after adjusting for census-based neighborhood disadvantage, self-reported neighborhood measures, and geocoded distance to school. Parental nativity status should be considered in policies or interventions designed to increase physical activity among Latino youth. PMID:24162884

  13. Change in Neighborhood Environments and Depressive Symptoms in New York City: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Diez Roux, A.V.; Golden, S.H.; Rapp, S.; Seeman, T.; Shea, S.

    2015-01-01

    Physical and social features of neighborhoods, such as aesthetic environments and social cohesion, change over time. The extent to which changes in neighborhood conditions are associated with changes in mental health outcomes has not been well-established. Using data from the Multi Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, this study investigated the degree to which neighborhood social cohesion, stress, violence, safety and/or the aesthetic environment changed between 2002 and 2007 in 103 New York City Census tracts and the associations of these changes with changes in depressive symptoms. Neighborhoods became less stressful, more socially cohesive, safer, and less violent. White, wealthy, highly educated individuals tended to live in neighborhoods with greater decreasing violence and stress and increasing social cohesion. Individuals living in neighborhoods with adverse changes were more likely to have increased CES-D scores, although due to limited sample size associations were imprecisely estimated (p>0.05). Changes in specific features of the neighborhood environment may be associated with changes in level of depressive symptoms among residents. PMID:25665936

  14. Association of the Neighborhood Retail Food Environment with Sodium and Potassium Intake Among US Adults

    PubMed Central

    Schieb, Linda; Schwartz, Greg; Onufrak, Stephen; Park, Sohyun

    2014-01-01

    Introduction High sodium intake and low potassium intake, which can contribute to hypertension and risk of cardiovascular disease, may be related to the availability of healthful food in neighborhood stores. Despite evidence linking food environment with diet quality, this relationship has not been evaluated in the United States. The modified retail food environment index (mRFEI) provides a composite measure of the retail food environment and represents the percentage of healthful-food vendors within a 0.5 mile buffer of a census tract. Methods We analyzed data from 8,779 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005–2008. By using linear regression, we assessed the relationship between mRFEI and sodium intake, potassium intake, and the sodium–potassium ratio. Models were stratified by region (South and non-South) and included participant and neighborhood characteristics. Results In the non-South region, higher mRFEI scores (indicating a more healthful food environment) were not associated with sodium intake, were positively associated with potassium intake (P [trend] = .005), and were negatively associated with the sodium–potassium ratio (P [trend] = .02); these associations diminished when neighborhood characteristics were included, but remained close to statistical significance for potassium intake (P [trend] = .05) and sodium–potassium ratio (P [trend] = .07). In the South, mRFEI scores were not associated with sodium intake, were negatively associated with potassium intake (P [trend] = < .001), and were positively associated with sodium–potassium ratio (P [trend] = .01). These associations also diminished after controlling for neighborhood characteristics for both potassium intake (P [trend] = .03) and sodium–potassium ratio (P [trend] = .40). Conclusion We found no association between mRFEI and sodium intake. The association between mRFEI and potassium intake and the sodium–potassium ratio varied by region. National

  15. Food Environments and Childhood Weight Status: Effects of Neighborhood Median Income

    PubMed Central

    Sharifi, Mona; Sequist, Thomas; Block, Jason; Duncan, Dustin T.; Melly, Steven J.; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L.; Taveras, Elsie M.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background: A key aspect of any intervention to improve obesity is to better understand the environment in which decisions are being made related to health behaviors, including the food environment. Methods: Our aim was to examine the extent to which proximity to six types of food establishments is associated with BMI z-score and explore potential effect modification of this relationship. We used geographical information software to determine proximity from 49,770 pediatric patients' residences to six types of food establishments. BMI z-score obtained from the electronic health record was the primary outcome. Results: In multivariable analyses, living in closest proximity to large (β, −0.09 units; 95% confidence interval [CI], −0.13, −0.05) and small supermarkets (−0.08 units; 95% CI, −0.11, −0.04) was associated with lower BMI z-score; living in closest proximity to fast food (0.09 units; 95% CI, 0.03, 0.15) and full-service restaurants (0.07 units; 95% CI, 0.01, 0.14) was associated with a higher BMI z-score versus those living farthest away. Neighborhood median income was an effect modifier of the relationships of convenience stores and full-service restaurants with BMI z-score. In both cases, closest proximity to these establishments had more of an adverse effect on BMI z-score in lower-income neighborhoods. Conclusions: Living closer to supermarkets and farther from fast food and full-service restaurants was associated with lower BMI z-score. Neighborhood median income was an effect modifier; convenience stores and full-service restaurants had a stronger adverse effect on BMI z-score in lower-income neighborhoods. PMID:25923838

  16. Surf & turf: effects of ground substrate on perceived threat, enclosure, and perceived walkability.

    PubMed

    Stamps, Arthur E

    2013-10-01

    Permeability theory suggests that perceived enclosure should be mitigated by the walkability of the surface underneath a person. This prediction was tested by obtaining ratings of perceived threat, perceived walkability, and perceived enclosure for five types of surfaces: pavement, grass, sand, water, and rocks. There were three experiments, 20 stimuli, and 112 participants. Perceived threat and perceived enclosure were highly correlated, as were perceived walkability and type of surface underfoot. Environments in which the surface underneath were difficult to walk over were perceived as being more enclosing and more threatening than surfaces that were easy to walk over. The findings all supported a priori hypotheses generated from the permeability theory of environmental perception and preference. PMID:24611254

  17. The Impact of Neighborhood Environment, Social Support and Avoidance Coping on Depressive Symptoms of Pregnant African American Women

    PubMed Central

    Giurgescu, Carmen; Zenk, Shannon N.; Templin, Thomas; Engeland, Christopher G.; Dancy, Barbara L.; Park, Chang; Kavanaugh, Karen; Dieber, William; Misra, Dawn

    2015-01-01

    Background Although depressive symptoms during pregnancy have been related to negative maternal and child health outcomes such as preterm birth, low birthweight infants, postpartum depression and maladaptive mother-infant interactions, studies on the impact of neighborhood environment on depressive symptoms in pregnant women are limited. Pregnant women residing in disadvantaged neighborhoods reported higher levels of depressive symptoms and lower levels of social support. No researchers have examined the relationship between neighborhood environment and avoidance coping in pregnant women. Guided by the Ecological model and Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional model of stress and coping, we examined whether social support and avoidance coping mediated associations between the neighborhood environment and depressive symptoms in pregnant African American women. Methods Pregnant African American women (N = 95) from a medical center in Chicago completed the instruments twice during pregnancy between 15-25 weeks and 25-37 weeks. The self-administered instruments measured perceived neighborhood environment, social support, avoidance coping, and depressive symptoms using items from existing scales. Objective measures of the neighborhood environment were derived using geographic information systems. Findings Perceived neighborhood environment, social support, avoidance coping and depressive symptoms were significantly correlated in the expected directions. Objective physical disorder and crime were negatively related to social support. Social support at time one (20 ± 2.6 weeks) mediated associations between the perceived neighborhood environment at time one and depressive symptoms at time two (29 ± 2.7 weeks). An increase in avoidance coping between time one and time two also mediated the effects of perceived neighborhood environment at time one on depressive symptoms at time two. Conclusion Pregnant African American women’s negative perceptions of their neighborhoods

  18. The California Neighborhoods Data System: a new resource for examining the impact of neighborhood characteristics on cancer incidence and outcomes in populations

    PubMed Central

    Glaser, Sally L.; McClure, Laura A.; Shema, Sarah J.; Kealey, Melissa; Keegan, Theresa H. M.; Satariano, William A.

    2011-01-01

    Research on neighborhoods and health has been growing. However, studies have not investigated the association of specific neighborhood measures, including socioeconomic and built environments, with cancer incidence or outcomes. We developed the California Neighborhoods Data System (CNDS), an integrated system of small area-level measures of socioeconomic and built environments for California, which can be readily linked to individual-level geocoded records. The CNDS includes measures such as socioeconomic status, population density, racial residential segregation, ethnic enclaves, distance to hospitals, walkable destinations, and street connectivity. Linking the CNDS to geocoded cancer patient information from the California Cancer Registry, we demonstrate the variability of CNDS measures by neighborhood socioeconomic status and predominant race/ethnicity for the 7,049 California census tracts, as well as by patient race/ethnicity. The CNDS represents an efficient and cost-effective resource for cancer epidemiology and control. It expands our ability to understand the role of neighborhoods with regard to cancer incidence and outcomes. Used in conjunction with cancer registry data, these additional contextual measures enable the type of transdisciplinary, “cells-to-society” research that is now being recognized as necessary for addressing population disparities in cancer incidence and outcomes. PMID:21318584

  19. Statistical Assessment of Neighborhood Socioeconomic Deprivation Environment in Spatial Epidemiologic Studies

    PubMed Central

    Lian, Min; Struthers, James; Liu, Ying

    2016-01-01

    Neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation has been associated with health behaviors and outcomes. However, neighborhood socioeconomic status has been measured inconsistently across studies. It remains unclear whether appropriate socioeconomic indicators vary over geographic areas and geographic levels. The aim of this study is to compare the composite socioeconomic index to six socioeconomic indicators reflecting different aspects of socioeconomic environment by both geographic areas and levels. Using 2000 U.S. Census data, we performed a multivariate common factor analysis to identify significant socioeconomic resources and constructed 12 composite indexes at the county, the census tract, and the block group levels across the nation and for three states, respectively. We assessed the agreement between composite indexes and single socioeconomic variables. The component of the composite index varied across geographic areas. At a specific geographic region, the component of the composite index was similar at the levels of census tracts and block groups but different from that at the county level. The percentage of population below federal poverty line was a significant contributor to the composite index, regardless of geographic areas and levels. Compared with non-component socioeconomic indicators, component variables were more agreeable to the composite index. Based on these findings, we conclude that a composite index is better as a measure of neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation than a single indicator, and it should be constructed on an area- and unit-specific basis to accurately identify and quantify small-area socioeconomic inequalities over a specific study region. PMID:27413589

  20. Racial and ethnic residential segregation, the neighborhood socioeconomic environment, and obesity among Blacks and Mexican Americans.

    PubMed

    Kershaw, Kiarri N; Albrecht, Sandra S; Carnethon, Mercedes R

    2013-02-15

    We used cross-sectional data on 2,660 black and 2,611 Mexican-American adult participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2006) to investigate the association between metropolitan-level racial/ethnic residential segregation and obesity and to determine whether it was mediated by the neighborhood socioeconomic environment. Residential segregation was measured using the black and Hispanic isolation indices. Neighborhood poverty and negative income incongruity were assessed as mediators. Multilevel Poisson regression with robust variance estimates was used to estimate prevalence ratios. There was no relationship between segregation and obesity among men. Among black women, in age-, nativity-, and metropolitan demographic-adjusted models, high segregation was associated with a 1.29 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00, 1.65) times higher obesity prevalence than was low segregation; medium segregation was associated with a 1.35 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.70) times higher obesity prevalence. Mexican-American women living in high versus low segregation areas had a significantly lower obesity prevalence (prevalence ratio, 0.54; 95% CI: 0.33, 0.90), but there was no difference between those living in medium versus low segregation areas. These associations were not mediated by neighborhood poverty or negative income incongruity. These findings suggest variability in the interrelationships between residential segregation and obesity for black and Mexican-American women. PMID:23337312

  1. Sleep and the Housing and Neighborhood Environment of Urban Latino Adults Living in Low-Income Housing: The AHOME Study.

    PubMed

    Chambers, Earle C; Pichardo, Margaret S; Rosenbaum, Emily

    2016-01-01

    Sleep is implicated in the risk of many chronic diseases; however, little is known about the living conditions that influence sleep. In this study of 371 low-income Latino residents, household crowding was associated with reduced odds of long sleep duration relative to average and short sleep duration. Neighborhood disorder and perceived building problems were associated with more sleep disturbances and poor sleep quality. Building problems were associated with prolonged sleep latency. There was a significant cumulative effect of adverse housing and neighborhood conditions on sleep outcomes. These results show that adverse conditions of both the housing and neighborhood environments are associated with poor sleep outcomes. PMID:25386692

  2. The Difference-in-Difference Method: Assessing the Selection Bias in the Effects of Neighborhood Environment on Health

    PubMed Central

    Grafova, Irina; Freedman, Vicki; Lurie, Nicole; Kumar, Rizie; Rogowski, Jeannette

    2013-01-01

    This paper uses the difference-in-difference estimation approach to explore the self-selection bias in estimating the effect of neighborhood economic environment on self-assessed health among older adults. The results indicate that there is evidence of downward bias in the conventional estimates of the effect of neighborhood economic disadvantage on self-reported health, representing a lower bound of the true effect. PMID:23623818

  3. Associations between perceived neighborhood environmental attributes and adults' sedentary behavior: findings from the U.S.A., Australia and Belgium.

    PubMed

    Van Dyck, Delfien; Cerin, Ester; Conway, Terry L; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse; Owen, Neville; Kerr, Jacqueline; Cardon, Greet; Frank, Lawrence D; Saelens, Brian E; Sallis, James F

    2012-05-01

    Sedentary behaviors are associated with multiple health problems, independently of physical activity. Neighborhood environment attributes might influence sedentary behaviors, but few studies have investigated these relationships. Moreover, all previous studies have been conducted within single countries, limiting environmental variability. We investigated the shape of associations between perceived neighborhood environment attributes and sedentary behavior in three countries; and whether these associations differed by country and gender. Data from U.S.A. (Seattle and Baltimore regions), Australia (Adelaide) and Belgium (Ghent) were pooled. Data collection took place between 2002 and 2008. In total, 6014 adults (20-65 years, 55.7% women) were recruited in high-/low-walkability and high-/low-income neighborhoods. All participants completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (domain-specific physical activity, transport-related sitting and overall time spent sitting) and the Neighborhood Environmental Walkability Scale (environmental perceptions). The number of destinations within a 20 min walk from home, perceiving few cul-de-sacs, good walking and cycling facilities, and traffic safety were included in an index of motorized transport correlates. This index was linearly negatively associated with motorized transport time, so the higher the scores on the index (more activity-friendliness), the lower the amount of motorized transport. No gender- or country-differences were identified. Perceived aesthetics and proximity of destinations were included in an index of overall sitting time correlates. A linear negative relationship with overall sitting time was found, but associations were stronger for men and not significant in Belgian adults. In conclusion, consistent and expected correlates were found for motorized transport in the three countries, but results were less clear for overall sitting time. Future studies should include even more countries to

  4. Measuring walking within and outside the neighborhood in Chinese elders: reliability and validity

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Walking is a preferred, prevalent and recommended activity for aging populations and is influenced by the neighborhood built environment. To study this influence it is necessary to differentiate whether walking occurs within or outside of the neighborhood. The Neighborhood Physical Activity Questionnaire (NPAQ) collects information on setting-specific physical activity, including walking, inside and outside one's neighborhood. While the NPAQ has shown to be a reliable measure in adults, its reliability in older adults is unknown. Additionally its validity and the influence of type of neighborhood on reliability and validity have yet to be explored. Methods The NPAQ walking component was adapted for Chinese speaking elders (NWQ-CS). Ninety-six Chinese elders, stratified by social economic status and neighborhood walkability, wore an accelerometer and completed a log of walks for 7 days. Following the collection of valid data the NWQ-CS was interviewer-administered. Fourteen to 20 days (average of 17 days) later the NWQ-CS was re-administered. Test-retest reliability and validity of the NWQ-CS were assessed. Results Reliability and validity estimates did not differ with type of neighborhood. NWQ-CS measures of walking showed moderate to excellent reliability. Reliability was generally higher for estimates of weekly frequency than minutes of walking. Total weekly minutes of walking were moderately related to all accelerometry measures. Moderate-to-strong associations were found between the NWQ-CS and log-of-walks variables. The NWQ-CS yielded statistically significantly lower mean values of total walking, weekly minutes of walking for transportation and weekly frequency of walking for transportation outside the neighborhood than the log-of-walks. Conclusions The NWQ-CS showed measurement invariance across types of neighborhoods. It is a valid measure of walking for recreation and frequency of walking for transport. However, it may systematically

  5. How to Find Lessons from the Public Health Literature: Example of a Scoping Study Protocol on the Neighborhood Environment

    PubMed Central

    Levasseur, Mélanie; Généreux, Mélissa; Desroches, Josiane; Carrier, Annie; Lacasse, Francis; Chabot, Éric; Abecia, Ana; Gosselin, Louise; Vanasse, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Background: As key determinants of many favorable health and quality of life outcomes, it is important to identify factors associated with mobility and social participation. Although several investigations have been carried out on mobility, social participation and neighborhood environment, there is no clear integration of these results. This paper presents a scoping study protocol that aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of how the physical and social neighborhood environment is associated with or influences mobility and social participation in older adults. Methods: The rigorous methodological framework for scoping studies is used to synthesize and disseminate current knowledge on the associations or influence of the neighborhood environment on mobility and social participation in aging. Nine databases from public health and other fields are searched with 51 predetermined keywords. Using content analysis, all data are exhaustively analyzed, organized, and synthesized independently by two research assistants. Discussion: A comprehensive synthesis of empirical studies provides decision-makers, clinicians and researchers with current knowledge and best practices regarding neighborhood environments with a view to enhancing mobility and social participation. Such a synthesis represents an original contribution and can ultimately support decisions and development of innovative interventions and clear guidelines for the creation of age-supportive environments. Improvements in public health and clinical interventions might be the new innovation needed to foster health and quality of life for aging population. Finally, the aspects of the associations or influence of the neighborhood environment on mobility and social participation not covered by previous research are identified. Conclusions: Among factors that impact mobility and social participation, the neighborhood environment is important since interventions targeting it may have a greater impact on an

  6. Changes in the perceived neighborhood environment in relation to changes in physical activity: A longitudinal study from childhood into adolescence.

    PubMed

    D'Haese, Sara; De Meester, Femke; Cardon, Greet; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse; Deforche, Benedicte; Van Dyck, Delfien

    2015-05-01

    The aim was to investigate how physical activity and the perceived neighborhood environment in children change when they enter adolescence. Also the relation between changes in the perceived environment and changes in children's physical activity was investigated. In total, 321 children and one of their parents filled out a physical activity questionnaire and the NEWS-Y at two time points (last grade of elementary school and 2 years later). Children also wore an activity monitor. Changes in children's physical activity were dependent on the physical activity domain. Only less than half of children's perceived neighborhood factors changed and about half of the parental perceived neighborhood factors changed. Most of these factors changed towards higher activity friendliness. Changes in the perceived environment were only limitedly related to changes in children's physical activity. PMID:25840351

  7. Contributions of built environment to childhood obesity.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Tamanna; Cushing, Rachel A; Jackson, Richard J

    2011-01-01

    As childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions, it is critical to devise interventions that target the root causes of obesity and its risk factors. The two main components of childhood obesity are physical inactivity and improper nutrition, and it is becoming increasingly evident that the built environment can determine the level of exposure to these risk factors. Through a multidisciplinary literature review, we investigated the association between various built environment attributes and childhood obesity. We found that neighborhood features such as walkability/bikeability, mixed land use, accessible destinations, and transit increase resident physical activity; also that access to high-caloric foods and convenience stores increases risk of overweight and obesity, whereas the presence of neighborhood supermarkets and farmers' markets is associated with lower childhood body mass index and overweight status. It is evident that a child's built environment impacts his access to nutritious foods and physical activity. In order for children, as well as adults, to prevent onset of overweight or obesity, they need safe places to be active and local markets that offer affordable, healthy food options. Interventions that are designed to provide safe, walkable neighborhoods with access to necessary destinations will be effective in combating the epidemic of obesity. PMID:21259262

  8. Neighborhood conditions are associated with maternal health behaviors and pregnancy outcomes.

    PubMed

    Vinikoor-Imler, L C; Messer, L C; Evenson, K R; Laraia, B A

    2011-11-01

    Women residing in neighborhoods of low socioeconomic status are more likely to experience adverse reproductive outcomes; however, few studies explore which specific neighborhood features are associated with poor maternal health behaviors and pregnancy outcomes. Based upon our conceptual model, directly observed street-level data from four North Carolina US counties were used to create five neighborhood indices: physical incivilities (neighborhood degradation), social spaces (public space for socializing), walkability (walkable neighborhoods), borders (property boundaries), and arterial features (traffic safety). Singleton birth records (2001-2005) were obtained from the North Carolina State Center for Vital Statistics and maternal health behavior information (smoking, inadequate or excessive weight gain) and pregnancy outcomes (pregnancy-induced hypertension/pre-eclampsia, low birthweight, preterm birth) were abstracted. Race-stratified random effect models were used to estimate associations between neighborhood indices and women's reproductive behaviors and outcomes. In adjusted models, higher amounts of physical incivilities were positively associated with maternal smoking and inadequate weight gain, while walkability was associated with lower odds of these maternal health behaviors. Social spaces were also associated with inadequate weight gain during pregnancy. Among pregnancy outcomes, high levels of physical incivilities were consistently associated with all adverse pregnancy outcomes, and high levels of walkability were inversely associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension and preterm birth for Non-Hispanic white women only. None of the indices were associated with adverse birth outcomes for Non-Hispanic black women. In conclusion, certain neighborhood conditions were associated with maternal health behaviors and pregnancy outcomes. PMID:21920650

  9. “Food is directed to the area”: African Americans’ perceptions of the neighborhood nutrition environment in Pittsburgh

    PubMed Central

    Quinn, Sandra C.; Kriska, Andrea M.; Thomas, Stephen B.

    2011-01-01

    Studies have shown racial disparities in neighborhood access to healthy food in the United States. We used a mixed methods approach employing geographic information systems, focus groups, and a survey to examine African Americans’ perceptions of the neighborhood nutrition environment in Pittsburgh. We found that African Americans perceive that supermarkets serving their community offer produce and meats of poorer quality than branches of the same supermarket serving White neighborhoods (p<0.001). Unofficial taxis or jitneys, on which many African Americans are reliant, provide access from only certain stores; people are therefore forced to patronize these stores even though they are perceived to be of poorer quality. Community-generated ideas to tackle the situation include ongoing monitoring of supermarkets serving the Black community. We conclude that stores should make every effort to be responsive to the perceptions and needs of their clients and provide an environment that enables healthy eating. PMID:21169050

  10. Do Neighborhoods Make People Active, or Do People Make Active Neighborhoods? Evidence from a Planned Community in Austin, Texas

    PubMed Central

    Heeren, Timothy; DeJong, William; Dumith, Samuel C.; Kohl, Harold W.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Whether patterns of physical activity in different communities can be attributed to the built environment or instead reflect self-selection is not well understood. The objective of this study was to examine neighborhood preferences and behavior-specific physical activity among residents who moved to a new urbanist-designed community. Methods We used data from a 2009 survey (n = 424) that was designed and administered to evaluate neighborhood preferences and behavior-specific physical activity before and after residents moved. Data were grouped and stratified by pre-move physical activity levels into low-, middle-, and high-activity groups. We used Student’s paired sample t test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test to compare pre- and post-move scores and used an analysis of variance to compare mean changes as a function of pre-move physical activity level. Results After moving, the high-activity group continued to be significantly more active than the middle- and low-activity groups (P < .001). However, we saw the biggest increase in pre- to post-move total physical activity in the low-activity group (mean increase, 176.3 min/wk) compared with the middle- (mean increase, 69.5 min/wk) and high-activity groups (mean decrease, 67.9 min/wk). All 3 groups had significant increases in walking inside the neighborhood for recreation. The preferred neighborhood features with the most significant pre- to post-move change scores were those associated with greater walkability. Conclusion This study supports the role the environment plays in physical activity. These data suggest that moving to an activity-friendly neighborhood can positively affect physical activity levels, particularly among residents who had previously been least active. PMID:23786909

  11. Getting Middle-School Students up and Moving: What's the Role of School and Neighborhood Environments...and the Weather: Studying the Effect of Neighborhood and School Environments on Youth Physical Activity Levels. Program Results

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakashian, Mary

    2008-01-01

    Researchers at the Harvard Prevention Research Center at Harvard University School of Public Health examined how physical and social environments of schools and neighborhoods shape routine physical activities of students attending 10 middle schools in the Boston area. They also analyzed the effect of weather conditions on student physical…

  12. Neighborhood Self-Selection: The Role of Pre-Move Health Factors on the Built and Socioeconomic Environment.

    PubMed

    James, Peter; Hart, Jaime E; Arcaya, Mariana C; Feskanich, Diane; Laden, Francine; Subramanian, S V

    2015-10-01

    Residential self-selection bias is a concern in studies of neighborhoods and health. This bias results from health behaviors predicting neighborhood choice. To quantify this bias, we examined associations between pre-move health factors (body mass index, walking, and total physical activity) and post-move neighborhood factors (County Sprawl Index, Census tract socioeconomic status (SES)) in the Nurses' Health Study (n = 14,159 moves from 1986-2008). Individuals in the highest quartile of pre-move BMI (BMI > 28.4) compared to the lowest quartile (BMI < 22.5) moved to counties that averaged 2.57 points lower on the sprawl index (95% confidence interval -3.55, -1.59) indicating that individuals moved to less dense counties; however, no associations were observed for pre-move walking nor total physical activity. Individuals with higher pre-move BMI tended to move to Census tracts with lower median income and home values and higher levels of poverty. Analyses examining the change in neighborhood environments after a move demonstrated that healthy pre-move behaviors were associated with moves to worse socioeconomic environments. This type of self-selection would bias results downward, underestimating the true relationship between SES and physical activity. Generally, the magnitudes of associations between pre-move health factors and neighborhood measures were small and indicated that residential self-selection was not a major source of bias in analyses in this population. PMID:26457712

  13. Neighborhood Self-Selection: The Role of Pre-Move Health Factors on the Built and Socioeconomic Environment

    PubMed Central

    James, Peter; Hart, Jaime E.; Arcaya, Mariana C.; Feskanich, Diane; Laden, Francine; Subramanian, S.V.

    2015-01-01

    Residential self-selection bias is a concern in studies of neighborhoods and health. This bias results from health behaviors predicting neighborhood choice. To quantify this bias, we examined associations between pre-move health factors (body mass index, walking, and total physical activity) and post-move neighborhood factors (County Sprawl Index, Census tract socioeconomic status (SES)) in the Nurses’ Health Study (n = 14,159 moves from 1986–2008). Individuals in the highest quartile of pre-move BMI (BMI > 28.4) compared to the lowest quartile (BMI < 22.5) moved to counties that averaged 2.57 points lower on the sprawl index (95% confidence interval −3.55, −1.59) indicating that individuals moved to less dense counties; however, no associations were observed for pre-move walking nor total physical activity. Individuals with higher pre-move BMI tended to move to Census tracts with lower median income and home values and higher levels of poverty. Analyses examining the change in neighborhood environments after a move demonstrated that healthy pre-move behaviors were associated with moves to worse socioeconomic environments. This type of self-selection would bias results downward, underestimating the true relationship between SES and physical activity. Generally, the magnitudes of associations between pre-move health factors and neighborhood measures were small and indicated that residential self-selection was not a major source of bias in analyses in this population. PMID:26457712

  14. Validation of food store environment secondary data source and the role of neighborhood deprivation in Appalachia, Kentucky

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Based on the need for better measurement of the retail food environment in rural settings and to examine how deprivation may be unique in rural settings, the aims of this study were: 1) to validate one commercially available data source with direct field observations of food retailers; and 2) to examine the association between modified neighborhood deprivation and the modified retail food environment score (mRFEI). Methods Secondary data were obtained from a commercial database, InfoUSA in 2011, on all retail food outlets for each census tract. In 2011, direct observation identifying all listed food retailers was conducted in 14 counties in Kentucky. Sensitivity and positive predictive values (PPV) were compared. Neighborhood deprivation index was derived from American Community Survey data. Multinomial regression was used to examine associations between neighborhood deprivation and the mRFEI score (indicator of retailers selling healthy foods such as low-fat foods and fruits and vegetables relative to retailers selling more energy dense foods). Results The sensitivity of the commercial database was high for traditional food retailers (grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores), with a range of 0.96-1.00, but lower for non-traditional food retailers; dollar stores (0.20) and Farmer’s Markets (0.50). For traditional food outlets, the PPV for smaller non-chain grocery stores was 38%, and large chain supermarkets was 87%. Compared to those with no stores in their neighborhoods, those with a supercenter [OR 0.50 (95% CI 0.27. 0.97)] or convenience store [OR 0.67 (95% CI 0.51, 0.89)] in their neighborhood have lower odds of living in a low deprivation neighborhood relative to a high deprivation neighborhood. Conclusion The secondary commercial database used in this study was insufficient to characterize the rural retail food environment. Our findings suggest that neighborhoods with high neighborhood deprivation are associated with having certain

  15. Creating Nurturing Environments: A Science-Based Framework for Promoting Child Health and Development within High-Poverty Neighborhoods

    PubMed Central

    Komro, Kelli A.; Flay, Brian R.; Biglan, Anthony

    2013-01-01

    Living in poverty and living in areas of concentrated poverty pose multiple risks for child development and for overall health and wellbeing. Poverty is a major risk factor for several mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, as well as for other developmental challenges and physical health problems. In this paper, the Promise Neighborhoods Research Consortium describes a science-based framework for the promotion of child health and development within distressed high-poverty neighborhoods. We lay out a model of child and adolescent developmental outcomes, and integrate knowledge of potent and malleable influences to define a comprehensive intervention framework to bring about a significant increase in the proportion of young people in high-poverty neighborhoods who will develop successfully. Based on a synthesis of research from diverse fields, we designed the Creating Nurturing Environments framework to guide community-wide efforts to improve child outcomes and reduce health and educational inequalities. PMID:21468644

  16. Neighborhood Influences on Girls’ Obesity Risk Across the Transition to Adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Kushi, Lawrence H.; Leung, Cindy W.; Nickleach, Dana C.; Adler, Nancy; Laraia, Barbara A.; Hiatt, Robert A.; Yen, Irene H.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The neighborhoods in which children live, play, and eat provide an environmental context that may influence obesity risk and ameliorate or exacerbate health disparities. The current study examines whether neighborhood characteristics predict obesity in a prospective cohort of girls. METHODS: Participants were 174 girls (aged 8–10 years at baseline), a subset from the Cohort Study of Young Girls’ Nutrition, Environment, and Transitions. Trained observers completed street audits within a 0.25-mile radius around each girl’s residence. Four scales (food and service retail, recreation, walkability, and physical disorder) were created from 40 observed neighborhood features. BMI was calculated from clinically measured height and weight. Obesity was defined as BMI-for-age ≥95%. Logistic regression models using generalized estimating equations were used to examine neighborhood influences on obesity risk over 4 years of follow-up, controlling for race/ethnicity, pubertal status, and baseline BMI. Fully adjusted models also controlled for household income, parent education, and a census tract measure of neighborhood socioeconomic status. RESULTS: A 1-SD increase on the food and service retail scale was associated with a 2.27 (95% confidence interval, 1.42 to 3.61; P < .001) increased odds of being obese. A 1-SD increase in physical disorder was associated with a 2.41 (95% confidence interval, 1.31 to 4.44; P = .005) increased odds of being obese. Other neighborhood scales were not associated with risk for obesity. CONCLUSIONS: Neighborhood food and retail environment and physical disorder around a girl’s home predict risk for obesity across the transition from late childhood to adolescence. PMID:25311606

  17. Is Your Neighborhood Designed to Support Physical Activity? A Brief Streetscape Audit Tool

    PubMed Central

    Cain, Kelli L.; Conway, Terry L.; Gavand, Kavita A.; Millstein, Rachel A.; Geremia, Carrie M.; Frank, Lawrence D.; Saelens, Brian E.; Glanz, Karen; King, Abby C.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Macro level built environment factors (eg, street connectivity, walkability) are correlated with physical activity. Less studied but more modifiable microscale elements of the environment (eg, crosswalks) may also affect physical activity, but short audit measures of microscale elements are needed to promote wider use. This study evaluated the relation of a 15-item neighborhood environment audit tool with a full version of the tool to assess neighborhood design on physical activity in 4 age groups. Methods From the 120-item Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes (MAPS) measure of street design, sidewalks, and street crossings, we developed the 15-item version (MAPS-Mini) on the basis of associations with physical activity and attribute modifiability. As a sample of a likely walking route, MAPS-Mini was conducted on a 0.25-mile route from participant residences toward the nearest nonresidential destination for children (n = 758), adolescents (n = 897), younger adults (n = 1,655), and older adults (n = 367). Active transportation and leisure physical activity were measured with age-appropriate surveys, and accelerometers provided objective physical activity measures. Mixed-model regressions were conducted for each MAPS item and a total environment score, adjusted for demographics, participant clustering, and macrolevel walkability. Results Total scores of MAPS-Mini and the 120-item MAPS correlated at r = .85. Total microscale environment scores were significantly related to active transportation in all age groups. Items related to active transport in 3 age groups were presence of sidewalks, curb cuts, street lights, benches, and buffer between street and sidewalk. The total score was related to leisure physical activity and accelerometer measures only in children. Conclusion The MAPS-Mini environment measure is short enough to be practical for use by community groups and planning agencies and is a valid substitute for the full version that is 8

  18. Neighborhood socioeconomic environment and incidence of coronary heart disease: a follow-up study of 25,319 women and men in Sweden.

    PubMed

    Sundquist, Kristina; Winkleby, Marilyn; Ahlén, Helena; Johansson, Sven-Erik

    2004-04-01

    In this study, the authors examined whether neighborhood socioeconomic environment predicted incident coronary heart disease after adjustment for individual-level characteristics. A random sample of the Swedish population (25,319 women and men aged 35-74 years) was interviewed between 1986 and 1993 and was followed through December 1997 for incident coronary heart disease (1,189 events). Neighborhood socioeconomic environment was defined by small-area market statistics (6,145 neighborhoods) and measured by two indicators: neighborhood education (proportion of people with less than 10 years of education in the neighborhood) and neighborhood income (proportion of people with incomes in the lowest national income quartile). Separate multilevel Cox proportional hazards models showed that low neighborhood education and low neighborhood income each predicted incident coronary heart disease after adjustment for age, sex, and individual-level education and income (hazard ratios were 1.25 and 1.23, respectively). The authors conclude that neighborhood socioeconomic environment predicts incident coronary heart disease, having a significant effect on coronary heart disease risk beyond the individual effect. PMID:15033643

  19. Perceived Residential Environment Quality Indicators and neighborhood attachment: A confirmation study on a Chinese sample in Chongqing.

    PubMed

    Mao, Yanhui; Fornara, Ferdinando; Manca, Sara; Bonnes, Mirilia; Bonaiuto, Marino

    2015-09-01

    This paper concerns people's assessment of their neighborhood of residence in a Chinese urban context. The aim of the study was to verify the factorial structure and the reliability of two instruments originally developed and validated in Italy (the full versions of the Perceived Residential Environment Quality Indicators [PREQIs] and of the Neighborhood Attachment Scale [NAS]) in a different cultural and linguistic context. The instruments consist of 11 scales measuring the PREQIs and one scale measuring neighborhood attachment (NA). The PREQIs scales include items covering four macroevaluative domains of residential environment quality: architectural and urban planning aspects (three scales: Architectural and Town-planning Space, Organization of Accessibility and Roads, Green Areas), sociorelational aspects (one scale: People and Social Relations), functional aspects (four scales: Welfare Services, Recreational Services, Commercial Services, and Transport Services), and contextual aspects (three scales: Pace of Life, Environmental Health, Upkeep and Care). The PREQIs and NAS were included in a self-report questionnaire, which had been translated and back-translated from English to Chinese, and was then administered to 340 residents in six districts (differing along various features) of a highly urbanized context in China, the city of Chongqing. Results confirmed the factorial structure of the scales and demonstrated good internal consistency of the indicators, thus reaffirming the results of previous studies carried out in Western urban contexts. The indicators tapping the neighborhood's contextual aspects (i.e., pace of life, environmental health, and upkeep) emerged as most correlated to NA. PMID:26354153

  20. Perceptions of neighborhood social environment and drug dependence among incarcerated women and men: a cross-sectional analysis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Perception of neighborhood social environment can influence an individual’s susceptibility to drug dependence. However, this has never been examined with a jailed sample, where frequent transitions between local jails and disadvantaged neighborhoods are common. Understanding these associations could aid in the design of targeted programs to decrease drug dependence and recidivism among the incarcerated. Methods For this study, 596 women and men from three Kansas City jails were surveyed over the course of six months in 2010. Drug dependence was assessed with DSM-IV criteria. Independent variables included fear of one’s neighborhood, perceived level of neighborhood violence, and social capital. All data were self-reported and were analyzed using logistic regression. Results Controlling for gender and age, fear of neighborhood violence was associated with increased odds of having drug dependence (OR = 1.27, CI 1.02, 1.58) and a higher level of social capital prior to incarceration was associated with lower odds of drug dependence (OR = 0.65, CI 0.44, 0.96). Mental health problem diagnosis and past year intimate partner violence were significant mediating factors. Gender and race/ethnicity were significant moderating factors between neighborhood disadvantage and drug dependence. Conclusions Our study suggests that drug dependence programs for women and men who cycle between jails and communities require both individual- and community-level interventions. To be most effective, programs at the community-level should focus on helping specific groups navigate their communities, as well as address individual health needs associated with drug dependence. PMID:22963546

  1. The Role of Neighborhood Environment and Risk of Intimate Partner Femicide in a Large Urban Area

    PubMed Central

    Frye, Victoria; Galea, Sandro; Tracy, Melissa; Bucciarelli, Angela; Putnam, Sara; Wilt, Susan

    2008-01-01

    Objectives. We evaluated the contribution of neighborhood-level factors indicative of social disorganization, including educational and occupational attainment, immigrant concentration, physical disorder, and social cohesion, to the likelihood of intimate partner femicide (IPF) while taking into account known neighborhood- and individual-level IPF risk factors. Methods. We used medical examiner data on 1861 femicide victims between 1990 and 1999 and archival information on 59 neighborhoods in New York City to conduct a multilevel case–control analysis. Results. After controlling for neighborhood-level income, we found that no neighborhood factors were significantly associated with IPF risk, as compared with risk of non–IPF and risk of femicide from unknown perpetrators, above and beyond the contributions of individual-level factors. The strongest predictors of IPF were foreign country of birth and young age. Conclusions. IPF victims were nearly twice as likely as non-IPF victims to be foreign born; by contrast, there was little neighborhood-level heterogeneity with respect to IPF risk. Further research is needed to identify neighborhood characteristics that uniquely influence risk of IPF to guide community-level interventions. PMID:18556618

  2. The Impact of Neighborhood Social and Built Environment Factors across the Cancer Continuum: Current Research, Methodologic Considerations, and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Scarlett Lin; Shariff-Marco, Salma; De Rouen, Mindy; Keegan, Theresa H. M.; Yen, Irene H.; Mujahid, Mahasin; Satariano, William A.; Glaser, Sally L.

    2015-01-01

    Neighborhood social and built environments have been recognized as important contexts in which health is shaped. We review the extent to which these neighborhood factors have been addressed in population-level cancer research, with a scan of the literature for research that focuses on specific social and/or built environment characteristics and association with outcomes across the cancer continuum, including incidence, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and survival. We discuss commonalities and differences in methodologies across studies, current challenges in research methodology, and future directions in this research area. The assessment of social and built environment factors in relation to cancer is a relatively new field, with 82% of 34 reviewed papers published since 2010. Across the wide range of social and built environment exposures and cancer outcomes considered by the studies, numerous associations were reported. However, the directions and magnitudes of association varied, due in large part to the variation in cancer sites and outcomes being studied, but also likely due to differences in study populations, geographical region, and, importantly, choice of neighborhood measure and geographic scale. We recommend that future studies consider the life course implications of cancer incidence and survival, integrate secondary and self-report data, consider work neighborhood environments, and further develop analytical and statistical approaches appropriate to the geospatial and multilevel nature of the data. Incorporating social and built environment factors into research on cancer etiology and outcomes can provide insights into disease processes, identify vulnerable populations, and generate results with translational impact of relevance for interventionists and policy makers. PMID:25847484

  3. Neighborhood Design for Walking and Biking

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Barbara B.; Smith, Ken R.; Hanson, Heidi; Fan, Jessie X.; Kowaleski-Jones, Lori; Zick, Cathleen D.

    2013-01-01

    Background Neighborhood designs often relate to physical activity and to BMI. Purpose Does neighborhood walkability/bikeability relate to BMI and obesity risk and does moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) account for some of the relationship? Methods Census 2000 provided walkability/bikeability measures—block group proportions of workers who walk or bike to work, housing age, and population density—and National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES 2003–2006) provided MVPA accelerometer measures. Regression analyses (2011–2012) adjusted for geographic clustering and multiple control variables. Results Greater density and older housing were associated with lower male BMI in bivariate analyses, but there were no density and housing age effects in multivariate models. For women, greater proportions of neighborhood workers who walk to work (M=0.02) and more MVPA was associated with lower BMI and lower obesity risk. For men, greater proportions of workers who bike to work (M=0.004) and more MVPA was associated with lower BMI and obesity risk. For both effects, MVPA partially mediated the relationships between walkability/bikeability and BMI. If such associations are causal, doubling walk and bike-to-work proportions (to 0.04 and 0.008) would have –0.3 and –0.33 effects on the average BMIs of adult women and men living in the neighborhood. This equates to 1.5 lbs for a 64” woman and 2.3 lbs for a 69” man. Conclusions Although walking/biking to work is rare in the U.S., greater proportions of such workers in neighborhoods relate to lower weight and higher MVPA. Bikeability merits greater attention as a modifiable activity-friendliness factor, particularly for men. PMID:23415119

  4. The built environment & the impact of neighborhood characteristics on youth sexual risk behavior in Cape Town, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Burns, Paul A.; Snow, Rachel C.

    2012-01-01

    Youth sexual risk behavior is often described in social terms, and there has been limited attention to date on how measures of the built environment, including access to municipal services, impact sexual risk behavior, particularly in resource-limited countries. Using the Cape Area Panel Study, we assessed the impact of neighborhood conditions (six single items and a built environment index (BEI)), net of individual socio-demographic factors. The results suggest that built environment factors are associated with sexual risk behavior. Also, the magnitude of associations between built environment factors and sexual risk behavior was more pronounced for females than for males. PMID:22704913

  5. Unwalkable Neighborhoods, Poverty, and the Risk of Diabetes Among Recent Immigrants to Canada Compared With Long-Term Residents

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Gillian L.; Creatore, Maria I.; Moineddin, Rahim; Gozdyra, Peter; Weyman, Jonathan T.; Matheson, Flora I.; Glazier, Richard H.

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE This study was designed to examine whether residents living in neighborhoods that are less conducive to walking or other physical activities are more likely to develop diabetes and, if so, whether recent immigrants are particularly susceptible to such effects. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We conducted a population-based, retrospective cohort study to assess the impact of neighborhood walkability on diabetes incidence among recent immigrants (n = 214,882) relative to long-term residents (n = 1,024,380). Adults aged 30–64 years who were free of diabetes and living in Toronto, Canada, on 31 March 2005 were identified from administrative health databases and followed until 31 March 2010 for the development of diabetes, using a validated algorithm. Neighborhood characteristics, including walkability and income, were derived from the Canadian Census and other sources. RESULTS Neighborhood walkability was a strong predictor of diabetes incidence independent of age and area income, particularly among recent immigrants (lowest [quintile 1 {Q1}] vs. highest [quintile 5 {Q5}] walkability quintile: relative risk [RR] 1.58 [95% CI 1.42–1.75] for men; 1.67 [1.48–1.88] for women) compared with long-term residents (Q1 to Q5) 1.32 [1.26–1.38] for men; 1.24 [1.18–1.31] for women). Coexisting poverty accentuated these effects; diabetes incidence varied threefold between recent immigrants living in low-income/low walkability areas (16.2 per 1,000) and those living in high-income/high walkability areas (5.1 per 1,000). CONCLUSIONS Neighborhood walkability was inversely associated with the development of diabetes in our setting, particularly among recent immigrants living in low-income areas. PMID:22988302

  6. Perceived Neighborhood Environmental Attributes Associated with Walking and Cycling for Transport among Adult Residents of 17 Cities in 12 Countries: The IPEN Study

    PubMed Central

    Kerr, Jacqueline; Emond, Jennifer A.; Badland, Hannah; Reis, Rodrigo; Sarmiento, Olga; Carlson, Jordan; Sallis, James F.; Cerin, Ester; Cain, Kelli; Conway, Terry; Schofield, Grant; Macfarlane, Duncan J.; Christiansen, Lars B.; Van Dyck, Delfien; Davey, Rachel; Aguinaga-Ontoso, Ines; Salvo, Deborah; Sugiyama, Takemi; Owen, Neville; Mitáš, Josef; Natarajan, Loki

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Prevalence of walking and cycling for transport is low and varies greatly across countries. Few studies have examined neighborhood perceptions related to walking and cycling for transport in different countries. Therefore, it is challenging to prioritize appropriate built-environment interventions. Objectives The aim of this study was to examine the strength and shape of the relationship between adults’ neighborhood perceptions and walking and cycling for transport across diverse environments. Methods As part of the International Physical activity and Environment Network (IPEN) adult project, self-reported data were taken from 13,745 adults (18–65 years) living in physically and socially diverse neighborhoods in 17 cities across 12 countries. Neighborhood perceptions were measured using the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale, and walking and cycling for transport were measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire–Long Form. Generalized additive mixed models were used to model walking or cycling for transport during the last seven days with neighborhood perceptions. Interactions by city were explored. Results Walking-for-transport outcomes were significantly associated with perceived residential density, land use mix–access, street connectivity, aesthetics, and safety. Any cycling for transport was significantly related to perceived land use mix–access, street connectivity, infrastructure, aesthetics, safety, and perceived distance to destinations. Between-city differences existed for some attributes in relation to walking or cycling for transport. Conclusions Many perceived environmental attributes supported both cycling and walking; however, highly walkable environments may not support cycling for transport. People appear to walk for transport despite safety concerns. These findings can guide the implementation of global health strategies. Citation Kerr J, Emond JA, Badland H, Reis R, Sarmiento O, Carlson J, Sallis

  7. Sense of community and its relationship with walking and neighborhood design.

    PubMed

    Wood, Lisa; Frank, Lawrence D; Giles-Corti, Billie

    2010-05-01

    The aim of this study is to examine the association between sense of community, walking, and neighborhood design characteristics. The current study is based on a sub-sample of participants (n=609) from the US Atlanta SMARTRAQ study who completed a telephone survey capturing physical activity patterns, neighborhood perceptions, and social interactions. Objective measures of neighborhood form were also computed. Univariate and multivariate models (General Linear Models (GLM)) were used to examine the association between sense of community (SofC) and aspects of the built environment, physical activity, and neighborhood perceptions. In multivariate models the impact on SofC was examined with progressive adjustment for demographics characteristics followed by walking behavior, neighborhood design features, neighborhood perceptions and time spent traveling in a car. After adjustment, SofC was positively associated with leisurely walking (days/week), home ownership, seeing neighbors when walking and the presence of interesting sites. SofC was also associated with higher commercial floor space to land area ratios (FAR) - a proxy for walkable site design that captures the degree to which retail destinations are set back from the street, the amount of surface parking, and urban design of an area. Conversely the presence of more mixed use and perceptions of steep hills were inversely associated with SofC. SofC is enhanced by living in areas that encourage leisurely walking, hence it is associated with living in neighbourhoods with lower levels of land use mix, but higher levels of commercial FAR. Our results suggest that in terms of SofC, the presence of commercial destinations may inhibit social interaction among local residents unless urban design is used to create convivial pedestrian-friendly commercial areas, e.g., providing street frontage, rather than flat surface parking. This finding has policy implications and warrants further investigation. PMID:20189699

  8. Walkability and cardiometabolic risk factors: Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Braun, Lindsay M; Rodríguez, Daniel A; Evenson, Kelly R; Hirsch, Jana A; Moore, Kari A; Diez Roux, Ana V

    2016-05-01

    We used data from 3227 older adults in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (2004-2012) to explore cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between walkability and cardiometabolic risk factors. In cross-sectional analyses, linear regression was used to estimate associations of Street Smart Walk Score® with glucose, triglycerides, HDL and LDL cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and waist circumference, while logistic regression was used to estimate associations with odds of metabolic syndrome. Econometric fixed effects models were used to estimate longitudinal associations of changes in walkability with changes in each risk factor among participants who moved residential locations between 2004 and 2012 (n=583). Most cross-sectional and longitudinal associations were small and statistically non-significant. We found limited evidence that higher walkability was cross-sectionally associated with lower blood pressure but that increases in walkability were associated with increases in triglycerides and blood pressure over time. Further research over longer time periods is needed to understand the potential for built environment interventions to improve cardiometabolic health. PMID:26922513

  9. Worksite Neighborhood and Obesogenic Behaviors: Findings Among Employees in the Promoting Activity and Changes in Eating (PACE) Trial

    PubMed Central

    Barrington, Wendy E.; Beresford, Shirley A. A.; Koepsell, Thomas D.; Duncan, Glen E.; Moudon, Anne Vernez

    2015-01-01

    Background Understanding mechanisms linking neighborhood context to health behaviors may provide targets for increasing lifestyle intervention effectiveness. Although associations between home neighborhood and obesogenic behaviors have been studied, less is known about the role of worksite neighborhood. Purpose To evaluate associations between worksite neighborhood context at baseline (2006) and change in obesogenic behaviors of adult employees at follow-up (2007–2009) in a worksite randomized trial to prevent weight gain. Methods Worksite property values were used as an indicator of worksite neighborhood socioeconomic status (NSES). Worksite neighborhood built environment attributes associated with walkability were evaluated as explanatory factors in relationships among worksite NSES, diet, and physical activity behaviors of employees. Behavioral data were collected at baseline (2005–2007) and follow-up (2007–2009). Multilevel linear and logistic models were constructed adjusting for covariates and accounting for clustering within worksites. Product-of-coefficients methods were used to assess mediation. Analyses were performed after study completion (2011–2012). Results Higher worksite NSES was associated with more walking (OR=1.16, 95% CI=1.03, 1.30, p=0.01). Higher density of residential units surrounding worksites was associated with more walking and eating ≥five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, independent of worksite NSES. Residential density partially explained relationships among worksite NSES, fruit and vegetable consumption, and walking. Conclusions Worksite neighborhood context may influence employees’ obesogenic behaviors. Furthermore, residential density around worksites could be an indicator of access to dietary and physical activity–related infrastructure in urban areas. This may be important given the popularity of worksites as venues for obesity prevention efforts. PMID:25442234

  10. Can the Neighborhood Built Environment Make a Difference in Children's Development? Building the Research Agenda to Create Evidence for Place-Based Children's Policy.

    PubMed

    Villanueva, Karen; Badland, Hannah; Kvalsvig, Amanda; O'Connor, Meredith; Christian, Hayley; Woolcock, Geoffrey; Giles-Corti, Billie; Goldfeld, Sharon

    2016-01-01

    Healthy child development is determined by a combination of physical, social, family, individual, and environmental factors. Thus far, the majority of child development research has focused on the influence of individual, family, and school environments and has largely ignored the neighborhood context despite the increasing policy interest. Yet given that neighborhoods are the locations where children spend large periods of time outside of home and school, it is plausible the physical design of neighborhoods (built environment), including access to local amenities, can affect child development. The relatively few studies exploring this relationship support associations between child development and neighborhood destinations, green spaces, interaction with nature, traffic exposure, and housing density. These studies emphasize the need to more deeply understand how child development outcomes might be influenced by the neighborhood built environment. Pursuing this research space is well aligned with the current global movements on livable and child-friendly cities. It has direct public policy impact by informing planning policies across a range of sectors (urban design and planning, transport, public health, and pediatrics) to implement place-based interventions and initiatives that target children's health and development at the community level. We argue for the importance of exploring the effect of the neighborhood built environment on child development as a crucial first step toward informing urban design principles to help reduce developmental vulnerability in children and to set optimal child development trajectories early. PMID:26432681

  11. Assessing urban and rural neighborhood characteristics using audit and GIS data: derivation and reliability of constructs

    PubMed Central

    Evenson, Kelly R; Sotres-Alvarez, Daniela; Herring, Amy H; Messer, Lynne; Laraia, Barbara A; Rodríguez, Daniel A

    2009-01-01

    Background Measures to assess neighborhood environments are needed to better understand the salient features that may enhance outdoor physical activities, such as walking and bicycling for transport or leisure. The purpose of this study was to derive constructs to describe neighborhoods using both primary (neighborhood audit) and secondary (geographic information systems) data. Methods We collected detailed information on 10,770 road segments using an audit and secondary data. The road segment sample was randomly split into an exploratory (60%) and validation sample (40%) for cross-validation. Using the exploratory sample (n = 6,388), seven a priori constructs were assessed separately (functionality, safety, aesthetics, destinations, incivilities, territorality, social spaces) by urbanicity using multi-group confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Additionally, new a posteriori constructs were derived using exploratory factor analysis (EFA). For cross-validation (n = 4,382), we tested factor loadings, thresholds, correlated errors, and correlations among a posteriori constructs between the two subsamples. Two-week test-retest reliability of the final constructs using a subsample of road segments (n = 464) was examined using Spearman correlation coefficients. Results CFA indicated the a priori constructs did not hold in this geographic area, with the exception of physical incivilities. Therefore, we used EFA to derive a four-factor solution on the exploratory sample: arterial or thoroughfare, walkable neighborhood, physical incivilities, and decoration. Using CFA on the validation sample, the internal validity for these a posteriori constructs was high (range 0.43 to 0.73) and the fit was acceptable. Spearman correlations indicated the arterial or thoroughfare factor displayed near perfect reliability in both urban and rural segments (r = 0.96). Both the physical incivilities factor and the walkable neighborhood factor had substantial to near perfect reliability in both

  12. The Impact of Neighborhood Park Access and Quality on Body Mass Index Among Adults in New York City

    PubMed Central

    Stark, James H.; Neckerman, Kathryn; Lovasi, Gina S.; Quinn, James; Weiss, Christopher C.; Bader, Michael D. M.; Konty, Kevin; Harris, Tiffany G.; Rundle, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the association between adult individuals’ body mass index (BMI) and characteristics of parks (size and cleanliness) in an urban environment taking into account the physical and social environment of the neighborhood. Methods Cross-sectional, hierarchical linear models were used to determine whether park effects were associated with BMI using self-reported height and weight data obtained from the Community Health Survey in New York City (2002-2006). Results Both the proportion of the residential zip code that was large park space and the proportion that was small park space had significant inverse associations with BMI after controlling for individual socio-demographic and zip code built environment characteristics (-0.20 BMI units across the inter-quartile range (IQR) for large parks, 95% CI -0.32, -0.08; -0.21 BMI units across the IQR for small parks, 95% CI -0.31, -0.10, respectively). Poorer scores on the park cleanliness index were associated with higher BMI, 0.18 BMI units across the IQR of the park cleanliness index (95% CI 0.05, 0.30). Conclusions This study demonstrated that proportion of neighborhoods that was large or small park space and park cleanliness were associated with lower BMI among NYC adults after adjusting for other neighborhood features such as homicides and walkability, characteristics that could influence park usage. PMID:24704504

  13. Neighborhoods, daily activities, and measuring health risks experienced in urban environments.

    PubMed

    Basta, Luke A; Richmond, Therese S; Wiebe, Douglas J

    2010-12-01

    Studies of place and health often classify a subject's exposure status according to that which is present in their neighborhood of residence. One's neighborhood is often proxied by designating it to be an administratively defined unit such as census tract, to make analysis feasible. Although it is understood that residential space and actual lived space may not correspond and therefore exposure misclassification may result, few studies have the opportunity to investigate the implications of this issue concretely. A population-based case-control study that is currently underway provides one such opportunity. Adolescent victims of assault in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and a control sample of adolescents drawn randomly from the community are being enrolled to study how alcohol consumption and time spent nearby alcohol outlets - individual-level and environmental-level risk factors for violence, respectively - over the course of daily activities relate to the likelihood of being assaulted. Data from a rapport-building exercise consist of hand-drawn sketches that subjects drew on street maps when asked to indicate the area considered their neighborhood. The main data consist of self-reported, detailed paths of the routes adolescents traveled from one location to the next over the course of one full day. Having noticed interesting patterns as the data collection phase proceeds, we present here an analysis conducted with the data of 55 control subjects between 15 and 19 years old. We found that hand-drawn neighborhoods and activity paths did not correspond to census tract boundaries, and time subjects spent in close proximity to alcohol outlets during their daily activities was not correlated with the prevalence of alcohol outlets in the census tract of their residence. This served as a useful example demonstrating how classifying subjects as exposed based solely on the prevalence of the exposure in the geographic area of their residence may misrepresent the

  14. Using the Community Readiness Model to Examine the Built and Social Environment: A Case Study of the High Point Neighborhood, Seattle, Washington, 2000–2010

    PubMed Central

    Sharify, Denise Tung; Blake, Bonita; Phillips, Tom; Whitten, Kathleen

    2014-01-01

    Background Residents of many cities lack affordable, quality housing. Economically disadvantaged neighborhoods often have high rates of poverty and crime, few institutions that enhance the quality of its residents’ lives, and unsafe environments for walking and other physical activity. Deteriorating housing contributes to asthma-related illness. We describe the redevelopment of High Point, a West Seattle neighborhood, to improve its built environment, increase neighborhood physical activity, and reduce indoor asthma triggers. Community Context High Point is one of Seattle’s most demographically diverse neighborhoods. Prior to redevelopment, it had a distressed infrastructure, rising crime rates, and indoor environments that increased asthma-related illness in children and adolescents. High Point residents and partners developed and implemented a comprehensive redevelopment plan to create a sustainable built environment to increase outdoor physical activity and improve indoor environments. Methods We conducted a retrospective analysis of the High Point redevelopment, organized by the different stages of change in the Community Readiness Model. We also examined the multisector partnerships among government and community groups that contributed to the success of the High Point project. Outcome Overall quality of life for residents improved as a result of neighborhood redevelopment. Physical activity increased, residents reported fewer days of poor physical or mental health, and social connectedness between neighbors grew. Asthma-friendly homes significantly decreased asthma-related illness among children and adolescents. Interpretation Providing affordable, quality housing to low-income families improved individual and neighborhood quality of life. Efforts to create social change and improve the health outcomes for entire populations are more effective when multiple organizations work together to improve neighborhood health. PMID:25376016

  15. Perceived Physical and Social Residential Environment and Preterm Delivery in African-American Women.

    PubMed

    Sealy-Jefferson, Shawnita; Giurgescu, Carmen; Helmkamp, Laura; Misra, Dawn P; Osypuk, Theresa L

    2015-09-15

    Perceptions of the residential environment may be associated with preterm delivery (PTD), though few studies exist. Data from the Life-course Influences on Fetal Environments (LIFE) Study (metropolitan Detroit, Michigan, 2009-2011) were used to examine whether perceptions of the current social and physical environment were associated with PTD rates among postpartum African-American women (n = 1,411). Perceptions of the following neighborhood characteristics were measured with validated multi-item scales: healthy food availability, walkability, safety, social cohesion, and social disorder. No significant associations between perceived residential environment and PTD were found in the total sample. However, education significantly modified 4 of the 5 associations (all interaction P's < 0.05). In women with ≤12 years of education, significant inverse associations were observed between PTD rates and perceptions of the following neighborhood characteristics: healthy food availability (unadjusted prevalence ratio (uPR) = 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.68, 0.98), walkability (uPR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.64, 0.95), and safety (uPR = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.56, 0.95). Women with ≤12 years of education also had higher PTD rates with higher social disorder (age-adjusted PR = 1.54, 95% CI: 1.10, 2.17). Null associations existed for women with >12 years of education. The PTD rates of women with lower education may be significantly affected by the physical and social residential environment. PMID:26163532

  16. Walkable Route Perceptions and Physical Features: Converging Evidence for En Route Walking Experiences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Barbara B.; Werner, Carol M.; Amburgey, Jonathan W.; Szalay, Caitlin

    2007-01-01

    Guided walks near a light rail stop in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, were examined using a 2 (gender) x 3 (route walkability: low-mixed-, or high-walkability features) design. Trained raters confirmed that more walkable segments had more traffic, environmental, and social safety; pleasing aesthetics; natural features; pedestrian amenities; and…

  17. Neighborhood conditions are associated with maternal health behaviors and pregnancy outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Vinikoor-Imler, L.C.; Messer, L.C.; Evenson, K.R.; Laraia, B.A.

    2016-01-01

    Women residing in neighborhoods of low socioeconomic status are more likely to experience adverse reproductive outcomes; however, few studies explore which specific neighborhood features are associated with poor maternal health behaviors and pregnancy outcomes. Based upon our conceptual model, directly observed street-level data from four North Carolina US counties were used to create five neighborhood indices: physical incivilities (neighborhood degradation), social spaces (public space for socializing), walkability (walkable neighborhoods), borders (property boundaries), and arterial features (traffic safety). Singleton birth records (2001–2005) were obtained from the North Carolina State Center for Vital Statistics and maternal health behavior information (smoking, inadequate or excessive weight gain) and pregnancy outcomes (pregnancy-induced hypertension/pre-eclampsia, low birthweight, preterm birth) were abstracted. Race-stratified random effect models were used to estimate associations between neighborhood indices and women’s reproductive behaviors and outcomes. In adjusted models, higher amounts of physical incivilities were positively associated with maternal smoking and inadequate weight gain, while walkability was associated with lower odds of these maternal health behaviors. Social spaces were also associated with inadequate weight gain during pregnancy. Among pregnancy outcomes, high levels of physical incivilities were consistently associated with all adverse pregnancy outcomes, and high levels of walkability were inversely associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension and preterm birth for Non-Hispanic white women only. None of the indices were associated with adverse birth outcomes for Non-Hispanic black women. In conclusion, certain neighborhood conditions were associated with maternal health behaviors and pregnancy outcomes. PMID:21920650

  18. Neighbourhood walkability and physical activity among family members of people with heart disease who participated in a randomized controlled trial of a behavioural risk reduction intervention.

    PubMed

    Riley, Dana L; Mark, Amy E; Kristjansson, Elizabeth; Sawada, Michael C; Reid, Robert D

    2013-05-01

    This study adds to the current literature investigating the relationship between individuals' physical activity (PA) and the built environment. Self-reported PA from a prospective behavioural risk reduction intervention was explored in the context of objectively measured Walk Score(®) and neighbourhood walkability in Ottawa, Canada. Participants in the intervention arm had significantly higher odds of meeting PA guidelines at 12-weeks compared to the standard care control group. This was not influenced by Walk Score(®) or walkability. This individual-level intervention was effective in assisting participants to overcome potential structural barriers presented by their neighbourhood to meet PA guidelines at 12-weeks. PMID:23474354

  19. Analysis of Individual Social-ecological Mediators and Moderators and Their Ability to Explain Effect of a Randomized Neighborhood Walking Intervention

    PubMed Central

    Michael, Yvonne L; Carlson, Nichole E

    2009-01-01

    Background Using data from the SHAPE trial, a randomized 6-month neighborhood-based intervention designed to increase walking activity among older adults, this study identified and analyzed social-ecological factors mediating and moderating changes in walking activity. Methods Three potential mediators (social cohesion, walking efficacy, and perception of neighborhood problems) and minutes of brisk walking were assessed at baseline, 3-months, and 6-months. One moderator, neighborhood walkability, was assessed using an administrative GIS database. The mediating effect of change in process variables on change in brisk walking was tested using a product-of-coefficients test, and we evaluated the moderating effect of neighborhood walkability on change in brisk walking by testing the significance of the interaction between walkability and intervention status. Results Only one of the hypothesized mediators, walking efficacy, explained the intervention effect (product of the coefficients (95% CI) = 8.72 (2.53, 15.56). Contrary to hypotheses, perceived neighborhood problems appeared to suppress the intervention effects (product of the coefficients (95% CI = -2.48, -5.6, -0.22). Neighborhood walkability did not moderate the intervention effect. Conclusion Walking efficacy may be an important mediator of lay-lead walking interventions for sedentary older adults. Social-ecologic theory-based analyses can support clinical interventions to elucidate the mediators and moderators responsible for producing intervention effects. PMID:19643024

  20. Children's Perceptions of Their Home and Neighborhood Environments, and Their Association with Objectively Measured Physical Activity: A Qualitative and Quantitative Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hume, C.; Salmon, J.; Ball, K.

    2005-01-01

    Environmental factors may have an important influence on children's physical activity, yet children's perspectives of their home and neighborhood environments have not been widely assessed. The aim of this study was to investigate children's perceptions of their environments, and to examine associations between these perceptions and objectively…

  1. Disentangling neighborhood contextual associations with child body mass index, diet, and physical activity: the role of built, socioeconomic, and social environments.

    PubMed

    Carroll-Scott, Amy; Gilstad-Hayden, Kathryn; Rosenthal, Lisa; Peters, Susan M; McCaslin, Catherine; Joyce, Rebecca; Ickovics, Jeannette R

    2013-10-01

    Obesity prevalence among US children and adolescents has tripled in the past three decades. Consequently, dramatic increases in chronic disease incidence are expected, particularly among populations already experiencing health disparities. Recent evidence identifies characteristics of "obesogenic" neighborhood environments that affect weight and weight-related behaviors. This study aimed to examine associations between built, socioeconomic, and social characteristics of a child's residential environment on body mass index (BMI), diet, and physical activity. We focused on pre-adolescent children living in New Haven, Connecticut to better understand neighborhood environments' contribution to persistent health disparities. Participants were 1048 fifth and sixth grade students who completed school-based health surveys and physical measures in fall 2009. Student data were linked to US Census, parks, retailer, and crime data. Analyses were conducted using multilevel modeling. Property crimes and living further from a grocery store were associated with higher BMI. Students living within a 5-min walk of a fast food outlet had higher BMI, and those living in a tract with higher density of fast food outlets reported less frequent healthy eating and more frequent unhealthy eating. Students' reported perceptions of access to parks, playgrounds, and gyms were associated with more frequent healthy eating and exercise. Students living in more affluent neighborhoods reported more frequent healthy eating, less unhealthy eating, and less screen time. Neighborhood social ties were positively associated with frequency of exercise. In conclusion, distinct domains of neighborhood environment characteristics were independently related to children's BMI and health behaviors. Findings link healthy behaviors with built, social, and socioeconomic environment assets (access to parks, social ties, affluence), and unhealthy behaviors with built environment inhibitors (access to fast food

  2. Neighborhood Built Environment Change and Change in BMI and Waist Circumference: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Hirsch, Jana A.; Moore, Kari A.; Barrientos-Gutierrez, Tonatiuh; Brines, Shannon J.; Zagorski, Melissa A.; Rodriguez, Daniel A.; Diez Roux, Ana V.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To examine longitudinal associations of the neighborhood built environment with objectively measured body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) in a geographically and racial/ethnically diverse group of adults. Design and Methods This study used data from 5,506 adult participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, aged 45–84 years in 2000 (baseline). BMI and WC were assessed at baseline and four follow-up visits (median follow-up 9.1 years). Time-varying built environment measures (population density, land-use, destinations, bus access, and street characteristics) were created using Geographic Information Systems. Principal components analysis was used to derive composite scores for three built environment factors. Fixed-effects models, tightly controlling for all time-invariant characteristics, estimated associations between change in the built environment and change in BMI and WC. Results Increases in the intensity of development (higher density of walking destinations and population density, and lower percent residential) were associated with less pronounced increases or decreases over time in BMI and WC. Changes in connected retail centers (higher percent retail, higher street connectivity) and public transportation (distance to bus) were not associated with changes in BMI or WC. Conclusion Longitudinal changes in the built environment, particularly increased density, are associated with decreases in BMI and WC. PMID:25136965

  3. Neighborhood Jams.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zingher, Gary

    1995-01-01

    Examines the role of the neighborhood in books for children and young adults. Discusses community characteristics, historical fiction, "special and scary places," neighborhoods in conflict and harmony, and the neighborhood as a memory base. Presents activities including animated maps, games, murals, small group dramas, and storytelling. (AEF)

  4. Does walkable neighbourhood design influence the association between objective crime and walking?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    living in a more walkable environment, as the presence of destinations has the capacity to both promote walking and attract crime. This study provides a plausible explanation for some mixed findings emerging from studies examining crime as a barrier to walking. In some settings, the hypothesised deterrent effect of crime on walking may be insufficient to outweigh the positive impacts of living in a more walkable environment. PMID:25063998

  5. Measuring Physical Neighborhood Quality Related to Health

    PubMed Central

    Rollings, Kimberly A.; Wells, Nancy M.; Evans, Gary W.

    2015-01-01

    Although sociodemographic factors are one aspect of understanding the effects of neighborhood environments on health, equating neighborhood quality with socioeconomic status ignores the important role of physical neighborhood attributes. Prior work on neighborhood environments and health has relied primarily on level of socioeconomic disadvantage as the indicator of neighborhood quality without attention to physical neighborhood quality. A small but increasing number of studies have assessed neighborhood physical characteristics. Findings generally indicate that there is an association between living in deprived neighborhoods and poor health outcomes, but rigorous evidence linking specific physical neighborhood attributes to particular health outcomes is lacking. This paper discusses the methodological challenges and limitations of measuring physical neighborhood environments relevant to health and concludes with proposed directions for future work. PMID:25938692

  6. Distribution of green infrastructure along walkable roads

    EPA Science Inventory

    Low-income and minority neighborhoods frequently lack healthful resources to which wealthier communities have access. Though important, the addition of facilities such as recreation centers can be costly and take time to implement. Urban green infrastructure, such as street trees...

  7. Neighborhood food environment and body mass index among Japanese older adults: results from the Aichi Gerontological Evaluation Study (AGES)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The majority of studies of the local food environment in relation to obesity risk have been conducted in the US, UK, and Australia. The evidence remains limited to western societies. The aim of this paper is to examine the association of local food environment to body mass index (BMI) in a study of older Japanese individuals. Methods The analysis was based on 12,595 respondents from cross-sectional data of the Aichi Gerontological Evaluation Study (AGES), conducted in 2006 and 2007. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), we mapped respondents' access to supermarkets, convenience stores, and fast food outlets, based on a street network (both the distance to the nearest stores and the number of stores within 500 m of the respondents' home). Multiple linear regression and logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the association between food environment and BMI. Results In contrast to previous reports, we found that better access to supermarkets was related to higher BMI. Better access to fast food outlets or convenience stores was also associated with higher BMI, but only among those living alone. The logistic regression analysis, using categorized BMI, showed that the access to supermarkets was only related to being overweight or obese, but not related to being underweight. Conclusions Our findings provide mixed support for the types of food environment measures previously used in western settings. Importantly, our results suggest the need to develop culture-specific approaches to characterizing neighborhood contexts when hypotheses are extrapolated across national borders. PMID:21777439

  8. Neighborhood Integration and Connectivity Predict Cognitive Performance and Decline

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Amber; Ferdous, Farhana; Moore, Keith Diaz; Burns, Jeffrey M.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Neighborhood characteristics may be important for promoting walking, but little research has focused on older adults, especially those with cognitive impairment. We evaluated the role of neighborhood characteristics on cognitive function and decline over a 2-year period adjusting for measures of walking. Method In a study of 64 older adults with and without mild Alzheimer's disease (AD), we evaluated neighborhood integration and connectivity using geographical information systems data and space syntax analysis. In multiple regression analyses, we used these characteristics to predict 2-year declines in factor analytically derived cognitive scores (attention, verbal memory, mental status) adjusting for age, sex, education, and self-reported walking. Results Neighborhood integration and connectivity predicted cognitive performance at baseline, and changes in cognitive performance over 2 years. The relationships between neighborhood characteristics and cognitive performance were not fully explained by self-reported walking. Discussion Clearer definitions of specific neighborhood characteristics associated with walkability are needed to better understand the mechanisms by which neighborhoods may impact cognitive outcomes. These results have implications for measuring neighborhood characteristics, design and maintenance of living spaces, and interventions to increase walking among older adults. We offer suggestions for future research measuring neighborhood characteristics and cognitive function. PMID:26504889

  9. Sneakers and spokes: an assessment of the walkability and bikeability of U.S. postsecondary institutions.

    PubMed

    Horacek, Tanya M; White, Adrienne A; Greene, Geoffrey W; Reznar, Melissa M; Quick, Virginia M; Morrell, Jesse S; Colby, Sarah M; Kattelmann, Kendra K; Herrick, Minette S; Shelnutt, Karla P; Mathews, Anne; Phillips, Beatrice W; Byrd-Bredbenner, Carol

    2012-03-01

    The purpose of the study described in this article was to assess the walkability and bikeability of 15 U.S. postsecondary education campuses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's evidence-based Healthier Worksite Initiative Walkability Audit was modified to rate campus walking and biking path segments for path safety, quality, and comfort. Universities (n = 13) assessed an average of 44 path segments, which earned a mean score of 72.71 +/- 10.77 SD (possible range 0 to 100). Postsecondary technical schools (n = 2) assessed 20 path segments, which received an average score of 76.56 +/- 13.15. About 70% of path segments received a grade A or B, but almost 1 in 10 received a failing or poor support score for walking and biking. Nearly half or more campus environments scored significantly below an acceptable score on many path safety and quality criteria. Postsecondary education campuses that are supportive of walking and biking offer numerous benefits to the environment and people. Findings from environmental assessments like the data reported here can provide valuable input to campus planners. PMID:22428317

  10. I-WALK: An Innovative Approach to Community Walkability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seeger, Christopher J.; Lillehoj, Catherine J.; Jensen, Alan D.; Wilson, Suzy; Levinson, Lydia R.

    2014-01-01

    One way of combating rising obesity rates and decreasing physical activity levels among children is to promote active transportation to and from schools. The award-winning I-WALK program provides a comprehensive framework for addressing community walkability and related infrastructure. The program uses a unique and innovative methodology that…

  11. Neighbourhood walkability, daily steps and utilitarian walking in Canadian adults

    PubMed Central

    Hajna, Samantha; Ross, Nancy A; Joseph, Lawrence; Harper, Sam; Dasgupta, Kaberi

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To estimate the associations of neighbourhood walkability (based on Geographic Information System (GIS)-derived measures of street connectivity, land use mix, and population density and the Walk Score) with self-reported utilitarian walking and accelerometer-assessed daily steps in Canadian adults. Design A cross-sectional analysis of data collected as part of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (2007–2009). Setting Home neighbourhoods (500 m polygonal street network buffers around the centroid of the participant's postal code) located in Atlantic Canada, Québec, Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia. Participants 5605 individuals participated in the survey. 3727 adults (≥18 years) completed a computer-assisted interview and attended a mobile clinic assessment. Analyses were based on those who had complete exposure, outcome and covariate data (n=2949). Main exposure measures GIS-derived walkability (based on land use mix, street connectivity and population density); Walk Score. Main outcome measures Self-reported utilitarian walking; accelerometer-assessed daily steps. Results No important relationship was observed between neighbourhood walkability and daily steps. Participants who reported more utilitarian walking, however, accumulated more steps (<1 h/week: 6613 steps/day, 95% CI 6251 to 6975; 1 to 5 h/week: 6768 steps/day, 95% CI 6420 to 7117; ≥6 h/week: 7391 steps/day, 95% CI 6972 to 7811). There was a positive graded association between walkability and odds of walking ≥1 h/week for utilitarian purposes (eg, Q4 vs Q1 of GIS-derived walkability: OR=1.66, 95% CI 1.31 to 2.11; Q3 vs Q1: OR=1.41, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.76; Q2 vs Q1: OR=1.13, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.39) independent of age, sex, body mass index, married/common law status, annual household income, having children in the household, immigrant status, mood disorder, perceived health, ever smoker and season. Conclusions Contrary to expectations, living in more walkable Canadian

  12. The CANEP Scale: Preliminary Psychometric Findings of a Measure of Youths' Perception of Their Neighborhood Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bisegger, Corinna; Cloetta, Bernhard; Ravens-Sieberer, Ulrike

    2008-01-01

    The impact of the environment on the quality of life and health is considered to be important for adults as well as for children and adolescents. To include the subjective view of children and adolescents in this context, instruments for measuring the perception of the environment are needed. The new scale CANEP (Children's and Adolescents'…

  13. Understanding the Positive Role of Neighborhood Socioeconomic Advantage in Achievement: The Contribution of the Home, Child Care, and School Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dupere, Veronique; Leventhal, Tama; Crosnoe, Robert; Dion, Eric

    2010-01-01

    The goal of this study was to examine the mechanisms underlying associations between neighborhood socioeconomic advantage and children's achievement trajectories between ages 54 months and 15 years. Results of hierarchical linear growth models based on a diverse sample of 1,364 children indicate that neighborhood socioeconomic advantage was…

  14. Engaging Urban Residents in Assessing Neighborhood Environments and Their Implications for Health

    PubMed Central

    Schulz, Amy J.; Estrada-Martinez, Lorena; Zenk, Shannon N.; Viruell-Fuentes, Edna; Villarruel, Antonia M.; Stokes, Carmen

    2006-01-01

    Researchers have worked to delineate the manner in which urban environments reflect broader social processes, such as those creating racially, ethnically and economically segregated communities with vast differences in aspects of the built environment, opportunity structures, social environments, and environmental exposures. Interdisciplinary research is essential to gain an enhanced understanding of the complex relationships between these stressors and protective factors in urban environments and health. The purpose of this study was to examine the ways that multiple factors may intersect to influence the social and physical context and health within three areas of Detroit, Michigan. We describe the study design and results from seven focus groups conducted by the Healthy Environments Partnership (HEP) and how the results informed the development of a survey questionnaire and environmental audit tool. The findings from the stress process exercise used in the focus groups described here validated the relevance of a number of existing concepts and measures, suggested modifications of others, and evoked several new concepts and measures that may not have been captured without this process, all of which were subsequently included in the survey and environmental audit conducted by HEP. Including both qualitative and quantitative methods can enrich research and maximize the extent to which research questions being asked and hypotheses being tested are driven by the experiences of residents themselves, which can enhance our efforts to identify strategies to improve the physical and social environments of urban areas and, in so doing, reduce inequities in health. PMID:16739052

  15. The Association between Walking and Perceived Environment in Chinese Community Residents: A Cross-Sectional Study

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Yingnan; Usagawa, Tricia; Fu, Hua

    2014-01-01

    Background The neighborhood environment, as a determinant of walking, has been assessed in several developed countries. However, few studies have investigated these associations in Chinese populations. Objective To examine the association between the perceived neighborhood environment and walking for recreation or transportation purposes among Chinese community residents. Methods We used a multi-stage stratified random sampling design to conduct a cross-sectional study of 1528 Chinese adults in Shanghai. Environmental and walking variables were assessed using a revised Abbreviated Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale for Chinese subjects and a long version of International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Self-reported demographic variables including gender, age, employment status, and location of community were also collected. Multiple logistic regression analysis was applied to examine the association between the neighborhood environment and walking. Results Based on the results of IPAQ, 13.7% of the overall subjects were physical inactive, which was considered to be lowly active. For all participants, accessibility to services was significantly associated with walking for both recreation and transportation (odds ratio = 1.062, 95% confidence interval: 1.016, 1.110; odds ratio = 1.053; 95% confidence interval: 1.008, 1.100, respectively). In males, accessibility to services was significantly associated both with walking for recreation and walking for transportation. However, a significantly negative association was found between the neighborhood surroundings and walking for recreation. In contrast, females who perceived good traffic safety tended to walk for recreation. Data also revealed a difference between working and retired individuals. Among working participants, perceived environmental variables were not significantly associated with walking for recreation and transportation. Conclusions The association between neighborhood environment and

  16. Neighborhood Environment and Adherence to a Walking Intervention in African American Women

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zenk, Shannon N.; Wilbur, JoEllen; Wang, Edward; McDevitt, Judith; Oh, April; Block, Richard; McNeil, Sue; Savar, Nina

    2009-01-01

    This secondary analysis examined relationships between the environment and adherence to a walking intervention among 252 urban and suburban, midlife African American women. Participants received an enhanced or minimal behavioral intervention. Walking adherence was measured as the percentage of prescribed walks completed. Objective measures of the…

  17. Characteristics of the Built Environment and the Presence of the Norway Rat in New York City: Results From a Neighborhood Rat Surveillance Program, 2008-2010.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Sarah; Bragdon, Caroline; Olson, Carolyn; Merlino, Mario; Bonaparte, Sancia

    2016-06-01

    Characteristics of an urban setting such as New York City (NYC), including readily available putrescible waste and ample underground infrastructure, make it highly attractive to the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). To identify property and neighborhood characteristics associated with rat presence, recent inspectional results were analyzed from over 77,000 properties in the Bronx and Manhattan. Variables capturing the location and density of factors believed to promote rat populations were tested individually and in combination in models predicting rat activity. We found that property-specific characteristics typically associated with high garbage volume, including large numbers of residential units, public ownership, and open-space designation (parks, outdoor recreation, or vacant land) were the most important factors in explaining increased rat presence across neighborhoods in NYC. Interventions that involved improved garbage management and street sanitation within a designated area reduced the likelihood of finding rats, especially in medium- and high-poverty neighborhoods. Neighborhood characteristics, such as being near a railroad or subway line, having a school nearby, the presence of numerous restaurants, or having older infrastructure, also contributed to the increased likelihood of rats. Our results support the use of built environment data to target community-level interventions and capture emerging rat infestations. PMID:27348979

  18. Perceived and Objective Measures of Neighborhood Environment for Physical Activity Among Mexican Adults, 2011

    PubMed Central

    Salvo, Deborah; Lamadrid-Figueroa, Héctor; Hernández, Bernardo; Rivera-Dommarco, Juan A.; Pratt, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Environmental supports for physical activity may help residents to be physically active. However, such supports might not help if residents’ perceptions of the built environment do not correspond with objective measures. We assessed the associations between objective and perceived measures of the built environment among adults in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and examined whether certain variables modified this relationship. Methods We conducted a population-based (n = 645) study in 2011 that used objective (based on geographic information systems) and perceived (by questionnaire) measures of the following features of the built environment: residential density, mixed-land use, intersection density, and proximity to parks and transit stops. We used linear regression to assess the adjusted associations between these measures and to identify variables modifying these relationships. Results Adjusted associations were significant for all features (P < .05) except intersection density and proximity to transit stops. Significantly stronger associations between perceived and objective measures were observed among participants with low socioeconomic status, participants who did not own a motor vehicle or did not meet physical activity recommendations, and participants perceiving parks as safe. Conclusion Perceived measures of residential density, mixed-land use, and proximity to parks are associated with objective environmental measures related to physical activity. However, in Mexico, it should not be assumed that perceived measures of intersection density and proximity to transit stops are the same as objective measures. Our results are consistent with those from high-income countries in that associations between perceived and objective measures are modified by individual sociodemographic and psychosocial factors. PMID:27281391

  19. Neighborhoods and Neighborhood Centers. Appendix.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herrick, Mary; And Others

    The first seven essays discuss the rise of community schools in urban public education, neighborhood health centers, churches in the inner city, cooperatives and credit unions in low income urban areas, job training and placement in neighborhood based programs, employment and supervision of nonprofessionals, urban observatories, and social…

  20. Building Strengths in the Neighborhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quigley, Richard

    2005-01-01

    This article features Woodland Hills's Neighborhood Youth Services. The Neighborhood Youth Services (NYS) program is a community-based program created by Woodland Hills, a residential program for troubled adolescents in Duluth, Minnesota. Principles for building respectful adult and peer relationships developed in the treatment environment were…

  1. Maternal anemia associated with walkable distance to healthy food sources in Bronx, New York.

    PubMed

    Bottalico, Danielle M; Johnson, Glen D; Chazotte, Cynthia; Karkowsky, Chavi Eve

    2015-01-01

    The relationship between walkable access to healthy food sources and risk of anemia in pregnancy was evaluated for a cohort of 4678 women who initiated prenatal care in the year 2010 at an academic medical center in Bronx, New York. After geocoding patient residences, street network distances were obtained for the closest healthy food sources, which were identified from multiple databases. For lower-income patients, as indicated by Medicaid or lack of health insurance, those who lived less than 0.25miles from a healthy food source were less likely to be anemic when compared to those who lived farther (adjusted OR=0.65, 95% CI 0.48, 0.88). Patients with commercial insurance showed no effect. These results help to understand how a nutritionally-mediated condition such as anemia during pregnancy can be affected by one's built environment, while also highlighting the importance of conditioning on socioeconomic status for these types of studies. PMID:25779906

  2. Associations of neighborhood characteristics with active park use: an observational study in two cities in the USA and Belgium

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Public parks can be an important setting for physical activity promotion, but to increase park use and the activity levels of park users, the crucial attributes related to active park use need to be defined. Not only user characteristics and structural park attributes, but also characteristics of the surrounding neighborhood are important to examine. Furthermore, internationally comparable studies are needed, to find out if similar intervention strategies might be effective worldwide. The main aim of this study was to examine whether the overall number of park visitors and their activity levels depend on study site, neighborhood walkability and neighborhood income. Methods Data were collected in 20 parks in Ghent, Belgium and San Diego, USA. Two trained observers systematically coded park characteristics using the Environmental Assessment of Public Recreation Spaces (EAPRS) tool, and park user characteristics using the System for Observing Play and recreation in Communities (SOPARC) tool. Multilevel multiple regression models were conducted in MLwiN 2.25. Results In San Diego parks, activity levels of park visitors and number of vigorously active visitors were higher than in Ghent, while the number of visitors walking and the overall number of park visitors were lower. Neighborhood walkability was positively associated with the overall number of visitors, the number of visitors walking, number of sedentary visitors and mean activity levels of visitors. Neighborhood income was positively associated with the overall number of visitors, but negatively with the number of visitors being vigorously active. Conclusions Neighborhood characteristics are important to explain park use. Neighborhood walkability-related attributes should be taken into account when promoting the use of existing parks or creating new parks. Because no strong differences were found between parks in high- and low-income neighborhoods, it seems that promoting park use might be a promising

  3. Active living environment assessments in four rural Latino communities

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Cynthia K.; Nagel, Corey; Ko, Linda K.; Duggan, Catherine; Linde, Sandra; Rodriguez, Edgar A.; Thompson, Beti

    2015-01-01

    Objective Latinos and rural residents are less active and have a greater prevalence of overweight/obesity compared with their non-Latino white and urban counterparts. The objective of this study was to assess the active living environment in four rural, predominantly Latino communities. Methods Assessments were taken using the Rural Active Living Assessment (RALA) in four rural predominantly Latino communities in Central Washington from September–November 2013. Street Segment Assessments of town center, thoroughfare, neighborhood and school zones were assessed for features related to walkability. Physical activity amenities, programs and policies in each town were assessed. Scores were generated for amenities, programs and policies. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and logistic regression. Results A total of 103 segments were assessed. Sidewalks in good condition were present in 32% of segments and shoulders in 44% of segments. Half of street segments were rated as walkable. Parks and playgrounds were available; however, half of these were rated in poor condition. All four districts offered after school physical activity programming but only two had a late bus option. Conclusions These four rural towns have some policies, programming and infrastructure in place that support active living. The information from the RALA can be used to inform program and policy development to enhance physical activity in these rural communities. PMID:26844156

  4. Home Versus Nonhome Neighborhood

    PubMed Central

    Hurvitz, Philip M.; Moudon, Anne Vernez

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Built environment and health research have focused on characteristics of home neighborhoods, whereas overall environmental exposures occur over larger spatial ranges. Purpose Differences in built environment characteristics were analyzed for home and nonhome locations using GPS data. Methods GPS data collected in 2007–2008 were analyzed for 41 subjects in the Seattle area in 2010. Environmental characteristics for 3.8 million locations were measured using novel GIS data sets called SmartMaps, representing spatially continuous values of local built environment variables in the domains of neighborhood composition, utilitarian destinations, transportation infrastructure, and traffic conditions. Using bootstrap sampling, CIs were estimated for differences in built environment values for home (<833 m of home address) and nonhome (>1666 m) GPS locations. Results Home and nonhome built environment values were significantly different for over 90% of variables across subjects (p<0.001). Only 51% of subjects had higher counts of supermarkets near than away from home. Different measures of neighborhood parks yielded varying results. Conclusions SmartMaps helped measure local built environment characteristics for a large set of GPS locations. Most subjects had significantly different home and nonhome built environment exposures. Considering the full range of individuals’ environmental exposures may improve understanding of effects of the built environment on behavior and health outcomes. PMID:22424255

  5. Influences of the neighborhood food environment on adiposity of low-income preschool-aged children in Los Angeles County: a longitudinal study

    PubMed Central

    Chaparro, M. Pia; Whaley, Shannon E.; Crespi, Catherine M.; Koleilat, Maria; Nobari, Tabashir Z.; Seto, Edmund; Wang, May C.

    2014-01-01

    Background Few studies have examined the association between the food environment and adiposity in early childhood, a critical time for obesity prevention. The objective of this study was to examine the longitudinal association between neighborhood food environment and adiposity among low-income preschool-aged children in a major metropolitan region in the United States. Methods The study sample was 32,172 low-income preschool-aged children in Los Angeles County who had repeated weight and height measurements collected between ages 2 and 5 years through a federal nutrition assistance program. We conducted multilevel longitudinal analyses to examine how spatial densities of healthy and unhealthy retail food outlets in the children’s neighborhoods were related to adiposity, as measured by weight-for-height z-score (WHZ), while controlling for neighborhood-level income and education, family income, maternal education, and child’s gender and race/ethnicity. Results Density of healthy food outlets was associated with mean WHZ at age 3 in a non-linear fashion, with mean WHZ being lowest for those exposed to approximately 0.7 healthy food outlets per square mile and higher for lesser and greater densities. Density of unhealthy food outlets was not associated with child WHZ. Conclusions We found a non-linear relationship between WHZ and density of healthy food outlets. Research aiming to understand the socio-behavioral mechanisms by which the retail food environment influences early childhood obesity development is complex and must consider contextual settings. PMID:25012991

  6. Socio-economic status, neighborhood food environments and consumption of fruits and vegetables in New York City

    PubMed Central

    Jack, Darby; Neckerman, Kathryn; Schwartz-Soicher, Ofira; Lovasi, Gina S.; Quinn, James; Richards, Catherine; Bader, Michael; Weiss, Christopher; Konty, Kevin; Arno, Peter; Viola, Deborah; Kerker, Bonnie; Rundle, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Objective Recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption are largely unmet. Lower socio-economic status (SES), neighborhood poverty and poor access to retail outlets selling healthy foods are thought to predict lower consumption. The objective of this study was to assess the inter-relationships between these risk factors as predictors of fruit and vegetable consumption. Design Cross-sectional multi-level analyses of data on fruit and vegetable consumption, socio-demographic characteristics, neighborhood poverty and access to healthy retail food outlets. Setting Survey data from the 2002 and 2004 New York City Community Health Survey linked by residential zip code to neighborhood data. Subjects 15,634 adult survey respondents. Results Overall 9.9% of respondents reported eating ≥5 servings of fruits or vegetables in the day prior to the survey. Among women the odds of eating ≥5 servings increased with higher income and among men and women with higher educational attainment. Compared to women with less than a high school education, the OR was 1.12 (95% CI 0.82, 1.55) for high school graduates, 1.95 (95% CI 1.43, 2.66) for those with some college education and 2.13 (95% CI 1.56, 2.91) for college graduates. The association between education and fruit and vegetable consumption was significantly stronger for women living in lower verses higher poverty Zip codes (p for interaction <0.05). The density of healthy food outlets did not predict consumption of fruits or vegetables. Conclusions Higher SES is associated with higher consumption of produce, an association that, in women, is stronger for those residing in lower poverty neighborhoods. PMID:23388104

  7. Combined measure of neighborhood food and physical activity environments and weight-related outcomes: the CARDIA Study

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Katie A.; Boone-Heinonen, Janne; Duffey, Kiyah J.; Rodriguez, Daniel A.; Kiefe, Catarina I.; Lewis, Cora E.; Gordon-Larsen, Penny

    2015-01-01

    Engagement in healthy lifestyle behaviors likely reflects access to a diverse and synergistic set of food and physical activity resources, yet most research examines discrete characteristics. We characterized neighborhoods with respect to their composition of features, and quantified associations with diet, physical activity (PA), body mass index (BMI), and insulin resistance (IR) in a longitudinal biracial cohort (n=4,143; aged 25–37; 1992–2006). We used latent class analysis to derive population-density-specific (< vs. ≥1,750 people per sq km) clusters of neighborhood indicators: road connectivity, parks and PA facilities, and food stores/restaurants. In lower population density areas, a latent class with higher food and PA resource diversity (relative to other clusters) was significantly associated with higher diet quality. In higher population density areas, a cluster with relatively more natural food/specialty stores; fewer convenience stores; and more PA resources was associated with higher diet quality. Neighborhood clusters were inconsistently associated with BMI and IR, and not associated with fast food consumption, walking, biking, or running. PMID:25723792

  8. Combined measure of neighborhood food and physical activity environments and weight-related outcomes: The CARDIA study.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Katie A; Boone-Heinonen, Janne; Duffey, Kiyah J; Rodriguez, Daniel A; Kiefe, Catarina I; Lewis, Cora E; Gordon-Larsen, Penny

    2015-05-01

    Engagement in healthy lifestyle behaviors likely reflects access to a diverse and synergistic set of food and physical activity resources, yet most research examines discrete characteristics. We characterized neighborhoods with respect to their composition of features, and quantified associations with diet, physical activity (PA), body mass index (BMI), and insulin resistance (IR) in a longitudinal biracial cohort (n=4143; aged 25-37; 1992-2006). We used latent class analysis to derive population-density-specific (neighborhood indicators: road connectivity, parks and PA facilities, and food stores/restaurants. In lower population density areas, a latent class with higher food and PA resource diversity (relative to other clusters) was significantly associated with higher diet quality. In higher population density areas, a cluster with relatively more natural food/specialty stores; fewer convenience stores; and more PA resources was associated with higher diet quality. Neighborhood clusters were inconsistently associated with BMI and IR, and not associated with fast food consumption, walking, biking, or running. PMID:25723792

  9. "Neighborhood matters": assessment of neighborhood social processes.

    PubMed

    Henry, David; Gorman-Smith, Deborah; Schoeny, Michael; Tolan, Patrick

    2014-12-01

    Neighborhoods are important contexts for understanding development and behavior, but cost and difficulty have challenged attempts to develop measures of neighborhood social processes at the neighborhood level. This article reports the development, reliability, and validity of Neighborhood Matters, a collection of instruments assessing three aspects of neighborhood social processes, namely, norms (five subscales), informal social control (six subscales and total scale), social connection (two subscales), as well as individual scales for assessing neighborhood change, neighborhood resources, and neighborhood problems. Six hundred six residents of Chicago, chosen at random from 30 neighborhoods (defined by US Census tracts), completed the measures. Neighborhoods were selected randomly from pools that balanced poverty and predominant (African-American vs. Latino Hispanic) ethnicity. Within each neighborhood 20 individuals were selected at random, balanced by age (18-24 vs. 30+) and gender. Scaling and item analysis permitted reduction of the number of items in each scale. All subscales had individual-level internal consistency in excess of .7. Generalizability theory analysis using random effects regression models found significant shared variance at the neighborhood level for three norms subscales, four informal social control subscales, both social connection subscales, and the neighborhood change, resources and problems scales. Validity analyses found significant associations between neighborhood-level scores on multiple Neighborhood Matters scales and neighborhood levels of violent, property, and drug-related crime. Discussion focuses on potential applications of the Neighborhood Matters scales in community research. PMID:25287739

  10. Nuclear Neighborhoods and Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Rui; Bodnar, Megan S.; Spector, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The eukaryotic nucleus is a highly compartmentalized and dynamic environment. Chromosome territories are arranged non-randomly within the nucleus and numerous studies have indicated that a gene’s position in the nucleus can impact its transcriptional activity. Here, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of the influence of specific nuclear neighborhoods on gene expression or repression. Nuclear neighborhoods associated with transcriptional repression include the inner nuclear membrane/nuclear lamina and peri-nucleolar chromatin, whereas neighborhoods surrounding the nuclear pore complex, PML nuclear bodies, and nuclear speckles seem to be transcriptionally permissive. While nuclear position appears to play an important role in gene expression, it is likely to be only one piece of a flexible puzzle that incorporates numerous parameters. We are still at a very early, yet exciting stage in our journey toward deciphering the mechanism(s) that govern the permissiveness of gene expression/repression within different nuclear neighborhoods. PMID:19339170

  11. Racial Diversity and Change in Metropolitan Neighborhoods*

    PubMed Central

    Farrell, Chad R.; Lee, Barrett A.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates the changing racial diversity and structure of metropolitan neighborhoods. We consider three alternative perspectives about localized racial change: that neighborhoods are bifurcating along a white/nonwhite color line, fragmenting into homogeneous enclaves, or integrating white, black, Latino, and Asian residents into diverse residential environments. To assess hypotheses drawn from these perspectives, we develop a hybrid methodology (incorporating the entropy index and majority-rule criteria) that offers advantages over previous typological efforts. Our analysis of 1990–2000 census tract data for the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas finds that most neighborhoods are becoming more diverse and that members of all groups have experienced increasing exposure to neighborhood diversity. However, white populations tend to diminish rapidly in the presence of multiple minority groups and there has been concomitant white growth in low-diversity neighborhoods. Latino population dynamics have emerged as a primary force driving neighborhood change in a multi-group context. PMID:21691412

  12. Relations among Neighborhood Social Networks, Home Literacy Environments, and Children's Expressive Vocabulary in Suburban At-Risk Families

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Froiland, John Mark; Powell, Douglas R.; Diamond, Karen E.

    2014-01-01

    In response to increasing research and policy interest in the neighborhood context of early school success, this study examined relations among neighborhood social networks, home literacy practices/resources, and children's expressive vocabulary in a suburban at-risk sample in the USA at the beginning of the school year. In a Structural…

  13. Moderating effects of age, gender and education on the associations of perceived neighborhood environment attributes with accelerometer-based physical activity: The IPEN adult study.

    PubMed

    Van Dyck, Delfien; Cerin, Ester; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse; Salvo, Deborah; Christiansen, Lars B; Macfarlane, Duncan; Owen, Neville; Mitas, Josef; Troelsen, Jens; Aguinaga-Ontoso, Ines; Davey, Rachel; Reis, Rodrigo; Sarmiento, Olga L; Schofield, Grant; Conway, Terry L; Sallis, James F

    2015-11-01

    The study's purpose was to examine age, gender, and education as potential moderators of the associations of perceived neighborhood environment variables with accelerometer-based moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Data were from 7273 adults from 16 sites (11 countries) that were part of a coordinated multi-country cross-sectional study. Age moderated the associations of perceived crime safety, and perceiving no major physical barriers to walking, with MVPA: positive associations were only found in older adults. Perceived land use mix-access was linearly (positive) associated with MVPA in men, and curvilinearly in women. Perceived crime safety was related to MVPA only in women. No moderating relationships were found for education. Overall the associations of adults' perceptions of environmental attributes with MVPA were largely independent of the socio-demographic factors examined. These findings are encouraging, suggesting that efforts to optimize the perceived built and social environment may act in a socially-equitable manner to facilitate MVPA. PMID:26454247

  14. Relationship between objectively measured walkability and exercise walking among adults with diabetes.

    PubMed

    Hosler, Akiko S; Gallant, Mary P; Riley-Jacome, Mary; Rajulu, Deepa T

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the relationship between objectively measured walkability and walking for exercise among adults with diabetes. Information regarding walking behavior of adults with diabetes residing in 3 Upstate New York counties was collected through an interview survey. Walkability measures were collected through an environmental audit of a sample of street segments. Overall walkability and 4 subgroup measures of walkability were aggregated at the ZIP level. Multivariate logistic regression was used for analysis. Study participants (n = 208) were 61.0% female, 56.7% non-Hispanic White, and 35.1% African-American, with a mean age of 62.0 years. 108 participants (51.9%) walked for exercise on community streets, and 62 (29.8%) met the expert-recommended level of walking for ≥150 minutes/week. After adjustment for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, BMI, physical impairment, and social support for exercise, walking any minutes/week was associated with traffic safety (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.15-1.65). Walking ≥150 minutes/week was associated with overall walkability of the community (2.65, 1.22, and 5.74), as well as sidewalks (1.73, 1.12-2.67), street amenity (2.04, 1.12-3.71), and traffic safety (1.92, 1.02-3.72). This study suggests that walkability of the community should be an integral part of the socioecologic approach to increase physical activity among adults with diabetes. PMID:24790613

  15. Relationship between Objectively Measured Walkability and Exercise Walking among Adults with Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Hosler, Akiko S.; Gallant, Mary P.; Riley-Jacome, Mary; Rajulu, Deepa T.

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the relationship between objectively measured walkability and walking for exercise among adults with diabetes. Information regarding walking behavior of adults with diabetes residing in 3 Upstate New York counties was collected through an interview survey. Walkability measures were collected through an environmental audit of a sample of street segments. Overall walkability and 4 subgroup measures of walkability were aggregated at the ZIP level. Multivariate logistic regression was used for analysis. Study participants (n = 208) were 61.0% female, 56.7% non-Hispanic White, and 35.1% African-American, with a mean age of 62.0 years. 108 participants (51.9%) walked for exercise on community streets, and 62 (29.8%) met the expert-recommended level of walking for ≥150 minutes/week. After adjustment for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, BMI, physical impairment, and social support for exercise, walking any minutes/week was associated with traffic safety (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.15–1.65). Walking ≥150 minutes/week was associated with overall walkability of the community (2.65, 1.22, and 5.74), as well as sidewalks (1.73, 1.12–2.67), street amenity (2.04, 1.12–3.71), and traffic safety (1.92, 1.02–3.72). This study suggests that walkability of the community should be an integral part of the socioecologic approach to increase physical activity among adults with diabetes. PMID:24790613

  16. Urban Natural Environments, Obesity, and Health-Related Quality of Life among Hispanic Children Living in Inner-City Neighborhoods

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jun-Hyun; Lee, Chanam; Sohn, Wonmin

    2016-01-01

    Although a substantial body of literature has provided evidence supporting the positive effects of natural environments on well-being, little has been known about the specific spatial patterns of urban nature in promoting health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among children. This study assessed the association that the urban natural environment measured by landscape spatial patterns may have with obesity and HRQOL among Hispanic children. Ninety-two 4th and 5th grade students were recruited from Houston, Texas, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) was used to capture the children’s HRQOL. The quality of urban natural environments was assessed by quantifying the landscape spatial patterns, using landscape indices generated by Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing. From the bivariate analyses, children’s body mass index showed a significantly negative association with their HRQOL. After controlling for socio-demographic factors, the results revealed that larger and more tree areas were positively correlated with children’s HRQOL. In addition, those children living in areas with tree patches further apart from each other showed higher HRQOL. This research adds to the current multi-disciplinary area of research on environment-health relationships by investigating the roles of urban greeneries and linking their spatial structures with children’s HRQOL. PMID:26771623

  17. Urban Natural Environments, Obesity, and Health-Related Quality of Life among Hispanic Children Living in Inner-City Neighborhoods.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jun-Hyun; Lee, Chanam; Sohn, Wonmin

    2016-01-01

    Although a substantial body of literature has provided evidence supporting the positive effects of natural environments on well-being, little has been known about the specific spatial patterns of urban nature in promoting health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among children. This study assessed the association that the urban natural environment measured by landscape spatial patterns may have with obesity and HRQOL among Hispanic children. Ninety-two 4th and 5th grade students were recruited from Houston, Texas, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) was used to capture the children's HRQOL. The quality of urban natural environments was assessed by quantifying the landscape spatial patterns, using landscape indices generated by Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing. From the bivariate analyses, children's body mass index showed a significantly negative association with their HRQOL. After controlling for socio-demographic factors, the results revealed that larger and more tree areas were positively correlated with children's HRQOL. In addition, those children living in areas with tree patches further apart from each other showed higher HRQOL. This research adds to the current multi-disciplinary area of research on environment-health relationships by investigating the roles of urban greeneries and linking their spatial structures with children's HRQOL. PMID:26771623

  18. The Role of Neighborhood Environment in Promoting Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease among Young Adults: Data from Middle to High Income Population in an Asian Megacity

    PubMed Central

    Baig, Mirza Zain; Noor, Arish; Aqil, Amash; Bham, Nida Shahab; Khan, Mohammad Ali; Hassan, Irfan Nazir; Kadir, M. Masood

    2015-01-01

    Background Modifiable risk factors of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have their triggers in the neighborhood environments of communities. Studying the environmental triggers for CVD risk factors is important to understand the situation in a broader perspective. Young adults are influenced the most by the environment profile around them hence it is important to study this subset of the population. Methods This was a descriptive study conducted using the EPOCH research tool designed by the authors of the PURE study. The study population consisted of young adults aged 18-25 in two areas of Karachi. The study setting was busy shopping malls frequented by young adults in the particular community being studied. Results Our total sample size was 120 individuals, who consented to be interviewed by our interviewers. Less than 50% of the population recognized some form of restriction regarding smoking in their communities. The largest contributor to tobacco advertising was actors smoking in movies and TV shows with 89% responses from both communities. Only 11.9% of the individuals disapproved of smoking cigarettes among men with wide acceptance of ‘sheesha’ across all age groups. Advertising for smoking and junk food was more frequent as compared to smoking cessation, healthy diet and exercise in both the areas. Unhealthy food items were more easily available in contrast to healthier options. The cost of healthy snack food options including vegetables and fruits was higher than sugary drinks and foods. Conclusion This assessment showed that both communities were exposed to environments that promote risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. PMID:25946006

  19. Neighborhood Dynamics of Urban Violence

    PubMed Central

    Chavez, Jorge M.; Griffiths, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    Social disorganization is the dominant framework linking neighborhood patterns of immigration to local rates of crime and violence despite inconsistent findings and evidence to the contrary. Using tract-level census data from 1970 to 1990 and Chicago homicide data from 1980 to 1995, this study explores whether and how the changing face of immigration is (un)related to homicide patterns within the contemporary urban environment. The results show that stable and consistent growth in foreign born is not associated with neighborhood trends in violence, whereas growth in recent arrivals occurs almost exclusively within the safest neighborhoods of the city. This research highlights the need to distinguish recent waves of immigrants/migrants from their historic counterparts. PMID:24222722

  20. The Food Retail Environment in School Neighborhoods and its Relation to Lunchtime Eating Behaviors in Youth from Three Countries

    PubMed Central

    Héroux, Mariane; Iannotti, Ronald J.; Currie, Dorothy; Pickett, William; Janssen, Ian

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the relation between the chain food retail environment surrounding schools, youths’ lunchtime eating behavior, and youths’ obesity levels across three countries. Participants consisted of 26,778 students 13–15 years old from 687 schools across Canada, Scotland and the US. The density of convenience stores, chain fast food restaurants, and chain cafés within 1 km of each school was measured. Lunchtime eating behaviors, weight, and height were self-reported. Although the density of chain food retailers was highest in the US, fewer American students (2.6%) routinely ate their lunch at a food retailer during the school week than did Canadian (7.7%) and Scottish (43.7%) students. The density of chain food retailers was associated with eating lunch at a food retailer in Canada only whereby students attending schools with 1–2, 3–4, and 5+ chain food retailers within 1 km from their schools were 1.39 (95% CI: 0.84–2.29), 1.87 (95% CI: 1.10–3.20), and 2.50 (95% CI: 1.56–4.01) times more likely to eat at a chain food retailer compared to students attending schools with no nearby chain food retailers. No associations were found between chain food retailer density and obesity. PMID:23041489

  1. Built environment attributes related to GPS measured active trips in mid-life and older adults with mobility disabilities

    PubMed Central

    Gell, Nancy M.; Rosenberg, Dori E.; Carlson, Jordan; Kerr, Jacqueline; Belza, Basia

    2015-01-01

    Background Understanding factors which may promote walking in mid-life and older adults with mobility impairments is key given the association between physical activity and positive health outcomes. Objective To examine the relationship between active trips and objective measures of the home neighborhood built environment. Methods Global positioning systems (GPS) data collected on 28 adults age 50+ with mobility disabilities were analyzed for active trips from home. Objective and geographic information systems (GIS) derived measures included Walk Score, population density, street connectivity, crime rates, and slope within the home neighborhood. For this cross-sectional observational study, we conducted mean comparisons between participants who took active trips from home and those who did not for the objective measures. Effect sizes were calculated to assess the magnitude of group differences. Results Nine participants (32%) took active trips from home. Walking in the home neighborhood was significantly associated with GIS derived measures (Walk Score, population density, and street density; effect sizes .9-1.2). Participants who used the home neighborhood for active trips had less slope within 1 km of home but the difference was not significant (73.5 meters±22 vs. 100.8 meters ±38.1, p=.06, d=0.8). There were no statistically significant differences in mean scores for crime rates between those with active trips from home and those without. Conclusions The findings provide preliminary evidence that more walkable environments promote active mobility among mid-life and older adults with mobility disabilities. The data suggest that this population can and does use active transportation modes when the built environment is supportive. PMID:25637503

  2. Applying Novel Methods for Assessing Individual- and Neighborhood-Level Social and Psychosocial Environment Interactions with Genetic Factors in the Prediction of Depressive Symptoms in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Ware, Erin B; Smith, Jennifer A; Mukherjee, Bhramar; Lee, Seunggeun; Kardia, Sharon L R; Diez-Roux, Ana V

    2016-01-01

    Complex illnesses, like depression, are thought to arise from the interplay between psychosocial stressors and genetic predispositions. Approaches that take into account both personal and neighborhood factors and that consider gene regions as well as individual SNPs may be necessary to capture these interactions across race and ethnic groups. We used novel gene-region based analysis methods [Sequence Kernel Association Test (SKAT) and meta-analysis (MetaSKAT), gene-environment set association test (GESAT)], as well as traditional linear models to identify gene region and SNP × psychosocial factor interactions at the individual- and neighborhood-level, across multiple race/ethnicities. Multiple regions identified in SKAT analyses showed evidence of a significant gene-region association with averaged depressive symptom scores across race/ethnicity (MetaSKAT p values <0.001). One region × neighborhood-environment interaction was significantly associated with averaged depressive symptom score across race/ethnicity after multiple testing correction (chr 18:21454070-21494070, Fisher's combined p value = 0.001). The examination of gene regions jointly with environmental factors measured at multiple levels (individuals and their contexts) may shed light on the etiology of depressive illness across race/ethnicities. PMID:26254610

  3. Investigating the Roles of Neighborhood Environments and Housing-based Social Support in the Relocation of Persons Made Homeless by Hurricane Katrina

    PubMed Central

    Kloos, Bret; Flory, Kate; Hankin, Benjamin L.; Cheely, Catherine A.; Segal, Michelle

    2008-01-01

    This study examined whether social support tied to relocation efforts and neighborhood social climate may mediate the effects of stressful life events on mental health outcomes following Hurricane Katrina. Participants were 108 adult persons made homeless by Hurricane Katrina and evacuated to Columbia, SC. Civic leaders developed an intervention model that emphasized (a) a one-stop point of entry, (b) living in hotels and apartments rather than shelters, and (c) matching hotels with volunteer “hosts” to assist in relocation efforts. Results revealed that perceived neighborhood factors and satisfaction with host relationship were related to several mental health outcomes. Neighborhood social climate partially mediated several mental health outcomes. Implications of this intervention model and the utility of social ecological perspectives on homelessness interventions are discussed. PMID:19363774

  4. Is the relationship between the built environment and physical activity moderated by perceptions of crime and safety?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Direct relationships between safety concerns and physical activity have been inconsistently patterned in the literature. To tease out these relationships, crime, pedestrian, and traffic safety were examined as moderators of built environment associations with physical activity. Methods Exploratory analyses used two cross-sectional studies of 2068 adults ages 20–65 and 718 seniors ages 66+ with similar designs and measures. The studies were conducted in the Baltimore, Maryland-Washington, DC and Seattle-King County, Washington regions during 2001–2005 (adults) and 2005–2008 (seniors). Participants were recruited from areas selected to sample high- and low- income and walkability. Independent variables perceived crime, traffic, and pedestrian safety were measured using scales from validated instruments. A GIS-based walkability index was calculated for a street-network buffer around each participant’s home address. Outcomes were total physical activity measured using accelerometers and transportation and leisure walking measured with validated self-reports (IPAQ-long). Mixed effects regression models were conducted separately for each sample. Results Of 36 interactions evaluated across both studies, only 5 were significant (p < .05). Significant interactions did not consistently support a pattern of highest physical activity when safety was rated high and environments were favorable. There was not consistent evidence that safety concerns reduced the beneficial effects of favorable environments on physical activity. Only pedestrian safety showed evidence of a consistent main effect with physical activity outcomes, possibly because pedestrian safety items (e.g., crosswalks, sidewalks) were not as subjective as those on the crime and traffic safety scales. Conclusions Clear relationships between crime, pedestrian, and traffic safety with physical activity levels remain elusive. The development of more precise safety variables and the use of

  5. Residential Greenness and Birth Outcomes: Evaluating the Influence of Spatially Correlated Built-Environment Factors

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Hugh W.; Frank, Lawrence; Van Loon, Josh; Gehring, Ulrike; Tamburic, Lillian; Brauer, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Background: Half the world’s population lives in urban areas. It is therefore important to identify characteristics of the built environment that are beneficial to human health. Urban greenness has been associated with improvements in a diverse range of health conditions, including birth outcomes; however, few studies have attempted to distinguish potential effects of greenness from those of other spatially correlated exposures related to the built environment. Objectives: We aimed to investigate associations between residential greenness and birth outcomes and evaluate the influence of spatially correlated built environment factors on these associations. Methods: We examined associations between residential greenness [measured using satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) within 100 m of study participants’ homes] and birth outcomes in a cohort of 64,705 singleton births (from 1999–2002) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We also evaluated associations after adjusting for spatially correlated built environmental factors that may influence birth outcomes, including exposure to air pollution and noise, neighborhood walkability, and distance to the nearest park. Results: An interquartile increase in greenness (0.1 in residential NDVI) was associated with higher term birth weight (20.6 g; 95% CI: 16.5, 24.7) and decreases in the likelihood of small for gestational age, very preterm (< 30 weeks), and moderately preterm (30–36 weeks) birth. Associations were robust to adjustment for air pollution and noise exposures, neighborhood walkability, and park proximity. Conclusions: Increased residential greenness was associated with beneficial birth outcomes in this population-based cohort. These associations did not change after adjusting for other spatially correlated built environment factors, suggesting that alternative pathways (e.g., psychosocial and psychological mechanisms) may underlie associations between residential greenness and

  6. The price of access: capitalization of neighborhood contextual factors

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Studies of neighborhood context on health behavior have not considered that the health benefits of context may be ‘capitalized’ into, or included in, higher housing values. This study examines the associations of better neighborhood context with neighborhood housing values. Methods We use the third wave of Add Health (2000-2001) to estimate the association of neighborhood contextual variables and housing values first across then within income types. This is a census block group-level analysis. Results We find that neighborhood context, especially access to fruit and vegetable outlets, is capitalized into, or associated with, higher housing values. Fast food and convenience store access are associated with lower housing values. Capitalization differs by income quartile of the neighborhood. Even those in the poorest neighborhoods value access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and those in the wealthier neighborhoods value activity resources. All neighborhood incomes types place negative value on fast food access and convenience store access. Conclusions Access to health-related contextual attributes is capitalized into higher housing prices. Access to fresh fruits and vegetables is valued in neighborhoods of all income levels. Modeling these associations by neighborhood income levels helps explain the mixed results in the literature on the built environment in terms of linking health outcomes to access. PMID:23927010

  7. Gender-Specific Associations between Perceived Neighbourhood Walkability and Meeting Walking Recommendations When Walking for Transport and Recreation for Czech Inhabitants over 50 Years of Age

    PubMed Central

    Pelclová, Jana; Frömel, Karel; Cuberek, Roman

    2013-01-01

    Few studies have investigated the different effects that the built environment may have on the physical activity behaviours of men and women. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate the gender differences in meeting walking recommendations in relation to perceived neighbourhood walkability attributes within the active transportation and leisure-time domains for Czech inhabitants over 50 years of age. The sample included 1,417 men and 1,422 women who were randomly selected. The Abbreviated Neighbourhood Environment Walkability Scale (ANEWS) was used to obtain information about the perceived environment. The self-administered long version of the IPAQ was used to assess physical activity levels. When walking for transport, men living in neighbourhoods with high street connectivity (OR = 1.47, CI = 1.04–2.9) and higher traffic and crime safety (OR = 1.28, CI = 1.02–1.6) and women living in neighbourhoods with high proximity (OR = 1.36, CI = 1.04–1.77) and high neighbourhood aesthetics (OR = 1.36, CI = 1.04–1.76) were more likely to meet recommended levels of walking. No environmental attributes were found to significantly influence the accomplishment of walking recommendations by men or women when walking for leisure. The study results indicate the gender-specific associations between transportation-related walking and the environment factors. The consideration of those factors in the design of gender-specific walking interventions for Czech inhabitants may help the interventions to be more effective in promotion of physical activity. PMID:24380981

  8. Impact of Older Adults' Neighborhood Perceptions on Walking Behavior.

    PubMed

    Maisel, Jordana L

    2016-04-01

    Built environment features can have varying impacts on user behavior depending on the perceptions of the opportunities and obstacles that the environments create. This study systematically evaluated the relationship between neighborhood perceptions and the specific types of self-reported walking behavior for 121 older adults who resided in urban, suburban, or rural neighborhoods. Perceptions of street connectivity, crime and traffic safety, and overall satisfaction were associated with specific types of walking behaviors, and the strength of the relationships differed by neighborhood type. Sociodemographic variables such as age and sex were associated with certain types and amounts of older adults' walking behaviors both across and within each neighborhood type. The results of this study support the importance of perceived street connectivity regardless of neighborhood type and perceived crime safety in rural neighborhoods to impact the walking behavior among older adults. PMID:26371520

  9. Neighborhood Poverty. Policy Implications in Studying Neighborhoods. Volume II.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne, Ed.; Duncan, Greg J., Ed.; Aber, J. Lawrence, Ed.

    Volume 2 of the "Neighborhood Poverty" series incorporates empirical data on neighborhood poverty into discussions of policy and program development. The chapters are: (1) "Ecological Perspectives on the Neighborhood Context of Urban Poverty: Past and Present" (Robert J. Sampson and Jeffrey D. Morenoff); (2) "The Influence of Neighborhoods on…

  10. The neighborhood context of adolescent mental health.

    PubMed

    Aneshensel, C S; Sucoff, C A

    1996-12-01

    Mental health disorders in adolescence are pervasive, often carry into adulthood, and appear to be inversely associated with social status. We examine how structural aspects of neighborhood context, specifically, socioeconomic stratification and racial/ethnic segregation, affect adolescent emotional well-being by shaping subjective perceptions of their neighborhoods. Using a community-based sample of 877 adolescents in Los Angeles County, we find that youth in low socioeconomic status (SES) neighborhoods perceive greater ambient hazards such as crime, violence, drug use, and graffiti than those in high SES neighborhoods. The perception of the neighborhood as dangerous, in turn, influences the mental health of adolescents: the more threatening the neighborhood, the more common the symptoms of depression, anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder. Social stability and, to a lesser extent, social cohesion, also emerge as contributors to adolescent disorder. This investigation demonstrates that research into the mental health of young people should consider the socioeconomic and demographic environments in which they live. PMID:8997886

  11. Built environment and change in body mass index in older women

    PubMed Central

    Michael, Yvonne L.; Gold, Rachel; Perrin, Nancy; Hillier, Teresa

    2013-01-01

    We examined the association between neighborhood walkability and changes in body mass index (BMI) and obesity during a 14-year follow-up among community-dwelling women 71 years of age on average (n = 1,008 representing 253 census tracts). Multilevel models predicted change in BMI or incidence of obesity controlling for age, marital status, number of incident comorbidities, self rated health, and death, over a follow-up of 14 years. Among non-sedentary older women, average BMI remained stable (β = 0.007, p = 0.291); risk of becoming obese increased 3 percent per year (odds ratio = 1.03, 95% CI 1.01, 1.05). Walkability was not associated with BMI or risk of obesity. Future research should consider additional neighborhood characteristics relevant to older adults, such as proximity to retail, public transit, or parks. PMID:23531924

  12. Perceived School and Neighborhood Safety, Neighborhood Violence and Academic Achievement in Urban School Children.

    PubMed

    Aj, Milam; Cdm, Furr-Holden; Pj, Leaf

    2010-12-01

    Community and school violence continue to be a major public health problem, especially among urban children and adolescents. Little research has focused on the effect of school safety and neighborhood violence on academic performance. This study examines the effect of the school and neighborhood climate on academic achievement among a population of 3(rd)-5(th) grade students in an urban public school system. Community and school safety were assessed using the School Climate Survey, an annual city-wide assessment of student's perception of school and community safety. Community violence was measured using the Neighborhood Inventory for Environmental Typology, an objective observational assessment of neighborhood characteristics. Academic achievement was measured using the Maryland State Assessment (MSA), a standardized exam given to all Maryland 3(rd)-8(th) graders. School Climate Data and MSA data were aggregated by school and grade. Objective assessments of neighborhood environment and students' self-reported school and neighborhood safety were both strongly associated with academic performance. Increasing neighborhood violence was associated with statistically significant decreases from 4.2%-8.7% in math and reading achievement; increasing perceived safety was associated with significant increases in achievement from 16%-22%. These preliminary findings highlight the adverse impact of perceived safety and community violence exposure on primary school children's academic performance. PMID:21197388

  13. Reducing Violence by Transforming Neighborhoods: A Natural Experiment in Medellín, Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Cerdá, Magdalena; Morenoff, Jeffrey D.; Hansen, Ben B.; Tessari Hicks, Kimberly J.; Duque, Luis F.; Restrepo, Alexandra; Diez-Roux, Ana V.

    2012-01-01

    Neighborhood-level interventions provide an opportunity to better understand the impact that neighborhoods have on health. In 2004, municipal authorities in Medellín, Colombia, built a public transit system to connect isolated low-income neighborhoods to the city’s urban center. Transit-oriented development was accompanied by municipal investment in neighborhood infrastructure. In this study, the authors examined the effects of this exogenous change in the built environment on violence. Neighborhood conditions and violence were assessed in intervention neighborhoods (n = 25) and comparable control neighborhoods (n = 23) before (2003) and after (2008) completion of the transit project, using a longitudinal sample of 466 residents and homicide records from the Office of the Public Prosecutor. Baseline differences between these groups were of the same magnitude as random assignment of neighborhoods would have generated, and differences that remained after propensity score matching closely resembled imbalances produced by paired randomization. Permutation tests were used to estimate differential change in the outcomes of interest in intervention neighborhoods versus control neighborhoods. The decline in the homicide rate was 66% greater in intervention neighborhoods than in control neighborhoods (rate ratio = 0.33, 95% confidence interval: 0.18, 0.61), and resident reports of violence decreased 75% more in intervention neighborhoods (odds ratio = 0.25, 95% confidence interval 0.11, 0.67). These results show that interventions in neighborhood physical infrastructure can reduce violence. PMID:22472117

  14. Companionship in the neighborhood context: older adults' living arrangements and perceptions of social cohesion.

    PubMed

    Bromell, Lea; Cagney, Kathleen A

    2014-03-01

    This study investigated the impact of neighborhood social cohesion on the perceived companionship of nearly 1,500 community-dwelling older adults from the Neighborhood, Organization, Aging and Health project (NOAH), a Chicago-based study of older adult well-being in the neighborhood context. We hypothesized that the relationship between neighborhood-level social cohesion and individual residents' reports of companionship would be more pronounced among those who lived alone than those who resided with others. Controlling for age, gender, education, race, marital status, length of neighborhood residence, and self-rated health, neighborhood social cohesion predicted companionship among those who lived alone; for a one-unit increase in neighborhood social cohesion, the odds of reporting companionship increased by half. In contrast, social cohesion did not predict the companionship of those who resided with others. The results suggest that older adults who live alone particularly profit from the benefits of socially cohesive neighborhood environments. PMID:24860203

  15. Companionship in the neighborhood context: Older adults’ living arrangements and perceptions of social cohesion

    PubMed Central

    Bromell, Lea; Cagney, Kathleen A.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the impact of neighborhood social cohesion on the perceived companionship of nearly 1,500 community-dwelling older adults from the Neighborhood, Organization, Aging and Health project (NOAH), a Chicago-based study of older adult well-being in the neighborhood context. We hypothesized that the relationship between neighborhood-level social cohesion and individual residents’ reports of companionship would be more pronounced among those who lived alone than those who resided with others. Controlling for age, gender, education, race, marital status, length of neighborhood residence, and self-rated health, neighborhood social cohesion predicted companionship among those who lived alone; for a one-unit increase in neighborhood social cohesion, the odds of reporting companionship increased by half. In contrast, social cohesion did not predict the companionship of those who resided with others. The results suggest that older adults who live alone particularly profit from the benefits of socially cohesive neighborhood environments. PMID:24860203

  16. Nonprofit Housing and Neighborhood Spillovers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellen, Ingrid Gould; Voicu, Ioan

    2006-01-01

    Nonprofit organizations play a critical role in U.S. housing policy, a role typically justified by the claim that their housing investments produce significant neighbor-hood spillover benefits. However, little work has actually been done to measure these impacts on neighborhoods. This paper compares the neighborhood spillover effects of…

  17. A Neighborhood Story

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gerrish, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Blue collar doesn't have to mean drab and dull. At least, not to Troy, New York, historian Mike Esposito, who is a member of a neighborhood revitalization movement seeking to celebrate the people and events that brought diversity, prosperity, and vitality to this upstate New York community more than 100 years ago. Esposito and others invited…

  18. A Mixed Methods Approach to Exploring the Relationship between Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus) Abundance and Features of the Urban Environment in an Inner-City Neighborhood of Vancouver, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Himsworth, Chelsea G.; Parsons, Kirbee L.; Feng, Alice Y. T.; Kerr, Thomas; Jardine, Claire M.; Patrick, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Urban rats (Rattus spp.) are among the most ubiquitous pest species in the world. Previous research has shown that rat abundance is largely determined by features of the environment; however, the specific urban environmental factors that influence rat population density within cities have yet to be clearly identified. Additionally, there are no well described tools or methodologies for conducting an in-depth evaluation of the relationship between urban rat abundance and the environment. In this study, we developed a systematic environmental observation tool using methods borrowed from the field of systematic social observation. This tool, which employed a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, was then used to identify environmental factors associated with the relative abundance of Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) in an inner-city neighborhood of Vancouver, Canada. Using a multivariate zero-inflated negative binomial model, we found that a variety of factors, including specific land use, building condition, and amount of refuse, were related to rat presence and abundance. Qualitative data largely supported and further clarified observed statistical relationships, but also identified conflicting and unique situations not easily captured through quantitative methods. Overall, the tool helped us to better understand the relationship between features of the urban environment and relative rat abundance within our study area and may useful for studying environmental determinants of zoonotic disease prevalence/distribution among urban rat populations in the future. PMID:24830847

  19. Key stakeholder perspectives on the development of walkable neighbourhoods

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Marianne I.; Berry, Tanya R.; Spence, John C.; Nykiforuk, Candace; Carlson, Marie; Blanchard, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Evidence supports the link between the built environment and physical activity. This study investigated factors that influence the decisions made by key stakeholders as they relate to neighbourhood development. Seventeen stakeholders including public health and municipal employees (n = 9), city councillors (n = 3), and the private sector (e.g., land developers, food retailers) (n = 5), participated in interviews. Private sector participants considered healthy lifestyle choices (e.g., PA) to be related more to individual choice than did other groups. All groups agreed that consumer behaviour is essential to invoking change but did not agree on who is responsible for invoking change. Common barriers included financial costs, car dependency, and social norms. Facilitators included growing awareness of health and environmental issues and increasing buy-in from governing bodies for innovative neighbourhood development. More work is needed that acknowledges the differences between while integrating the diverse perspectives of those responsible for the planning of neighbourhoods that are conducive for physical activity. PMID:19733495

  20. Exploring the Role of the Food Environment on Food Shopping Patterns in Philadelphia, PA, USA: A Semiquantitative Comparison of Two Matched Neighborhood Groups

    PubMed Central

    Hirsch, Jana A.; Hillier, Amy

    2013-01-01

    Increasing research has focused on the built food environment and nutrition-related outcomes, yet what constitutes a food environment and how this environment influences individual behavior still remain unclear. This study assesses whether travel mode and distance to food shopping venues differ among individuals in varying food environments and whether individual- and household-level factors are associated with food shopping patterns. Fifty neighbors who share a traditionally defined food environment (25 in an unfavorable environment and 25 in a favorable environment) were surveyed using a mix of close- and open-ended survey questions. Food shopping patterns were mapped using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Stores visited were beyond the 0.5-mile (805 meters) radius traditionally used to represent the extent of an individual’s food environment in an urban area. We found no significant difference in shopping frequency or motivating factor behind store choice between the groups. No differences existed between the two groups for big food shopping trips. For small trips, individuals in the favorable food environment traveled shorter distances and were more likely to walk than drive. Socioeconomic status, including car ownership, education, and income influenced distance traveled. These findings highlight the complexities involved in the study and measurement of food environments. PMID:23343984

  1. Understanding differences in the local food environment across countries: A case study in Madrid (Spain) and Baltimore (USA).

    PubMed

    Díez, Julia; Bilal, Usama; Cebrecos, Alba; Buczynski, Amanda; Lawrence, Robert S; Glass, Thomas; Escobar, Francisco; Gittelsohn, Joel; Franco, Manuel

    2016-08-01

    Places where we buy food influence dietary patterns, making local food environments a good example of a mass influence on population diets. Cross-cultural studies, using reliable methods, may help understanding the relationship between food environments and diet-related health outcomes. We aimed to understand cross-national differences in the local food environment between Madrid and Baltimore by comparing an average neighborhood in each city in terms of food store types, healthy food availability, and residents' pedestrian access. During 2012-2013, we assessed one neighborhood (~15,000 residents) in each city selecting median areas in terms of socio-demographic characteristics (segregation, education, aging, and population density). We collected on-field data on (a) number and types of all food stores, (b) overall healthy food availability and (c) specific availability of fruits & vegetables. Throughout a street network analysis (200m, 400m and 800m) of food stores with high healthy food availability, we estimated residents' pedestrian accessibility. We found 40 stores in Madrid and 14 in Baltimore. Small food stores carrying fresh foods in Madrid contrasted with the high presence of corner and chain convenience stores in Baltimore. In Madrid, 77% of the residents lived within less than 200m from a food store with high healthy food availability. In contrast, 95% of Baltimore's residents lived further than 400m from these stores. Our results may help promoting interventions from local city agencies to allocate resources to existing small-sized food stores, and to improve walkable urban environments. These actions may influence food choices, especially for those residents lacking access to private vehicles. PMID:27311334

  2. Parental Perceptions of Neighborhood Effects in Latino Comunas

    PubMed Central

    Horner, Pilar; Sanchez, Ninive; Castillo, Marcela; Delva, Jorge

    2011-01-01

    Objectives To obtain rich information about how adult Latinos living in high-poverty/high-drug use neighborhoods perceive and negotiate their environment. Methods In 2008, thirteen adult caregivers in Santiago, Chile were interviewed with open-ended questions to ascertain beliefs about neighborhood effects and drug use. Analysis Inductive analysis was used to develop the codebook/identify trends. Discussion Residents externalized their understanding of drug use and misuse by invoking the concept of delinquent youth. A typology of their perceptions is offered. Learning more about residents’ circumstances may help focus on needs-based interventions. More research with Latino neighborhoods is needed for culturally-competent models of interventions. PMID:22497879

  3. Physical Activity and Food Environments: Solutions to the Obesity Epidemic

    PubMed Central

    Sallis, James F; Glanz, Karen

    2009-01-01

    Context: Environmental, policy, and societal changes are important contributors to the rapid rise in obesity over the past few decades, and there has been substantial progress toward identifying environmental and policy factors related to eating and physical activity that can point toward solutions. This article is a status report on research on physical activity and food environments, and it suggests how these findings can be used to improve diet and physical activity and to control or reduce obesity. Methods: This article summarizes and synthesizes recent reviews and provides examples of representative studies. It also describes ongoing innovative interventions and policy change efforts that were identified through conference presentations, media coverage, and websites. Findings: Numerous cross-sectional studies have consistently demonstrated that some attributes of built and food environments are associated with physical activity, healthful eating, and obesity. Residents of walkable neighborhoods who have good access to recreation facilities are more likely to be physically active and less likely to be overweight or obese. Residents of communities with ready access to healthy foods also tend to have more healthful diets. Disparities in environments and policies that disadvantage low-income communities and racial minorities have been documented as well. Evidence from multilevel studies, prospective research, and quasi-experimental evaluations of environmental changes are just beginning to emerge. Conclusions: Environment, policy, and multilevel strategies for improving diet, physical activity, and obesity control are recommended based on a rapidly growing body of research and the collective wisdom of leading expert organizations. A public health imperative to identify and implement solutions to the obesity epidemic warrants the use of the most promising strategies while continuing to build the evidence base. PMID:19298418

  4. Neighborhood comparison operator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gennery, D. B. (Inventor)

    1985-01-01

    Digital values in a moving window are compared by an operator having nine comparators connected to line buffers for receiving a succession of central pixels together with eight neighborhood pixels. A single bit of program control determines whether the neighborhood pixels are to be compared with the central pixel or a threshold value. The central pixel is always compared with the threshold. The omparator output plus 2 bits indicating odd-even pixel/line information about the central pixel addresses a lookup table to provide 14 bits of information, including 2 bits which control a selector to pass either the central pixel value, the other 12 bits of table information, or the bit-wise logical OR of all nine pixels through circuit that implements a very wide OR gate.

  5. Walks on SPR neighborhoods.

    PubMed

    Caceres, Alan Joseph J; Castillo, Juan; Lee, Jinnie; St John, Katherine

    2013-01-01

    A nearest-neighbor-interchange (NNI)-walk is a sequence of unrooted phylogenetic trees, T1, T2, . . . , T(k) where each consecutive pair of trees differs by a single NNI move. We give tight bounds on the length of the shortest NNI-walks that visit all trees in a subtree-prune-and-regraft (SPR) neighborhood of a given tree. For any unrooted, binary tree, T, on n leaves, the shortest walk takes Θ(n²) additional steps more than the number of trees in the SPR neighborhood. This answers Bryant’s Second Combinatorial Challenge from the Phylogenetics Challenges List, the Isaac Newton Institute, 2011, and the Penny Ante Problem List, 2009. PMID:23702562

  6. Neighborhood Effects in Temporal Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Wodtke, Geoffrey T.; Harding, David J.; Elwert, Felix

    2012-01-01

    Theory suggests that neighborhood effects depend not only on where individuals live today, but also on where they lived in the past. Previous research, however, usually measured neighborhood context only once and did not account for length of residence, thereby understating the detrimental effects of long-term neighborhood disadvantage. This study investigates the effects of duration of exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods on high school graduation. It follows 4,154 children in the PSID, measuring neighborhood context once per year from age 1 to 17. The analysis overcomes the problem of dynamic neighborhood selection by adapting novel methods of causal inference for time-varying treatments. In contrast to previous analyses, these methods do not “control away” the effect of neighborhood context operating indirectly through time-varying characteristics of the family, and thus they capture the full impact of a lifetime of neighborhood disadvantage. We find that sustained exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods has a severe impact on high school graduation that is considerably larger than effects reported in prior research. Growing up in the most (compared to the least) disadvantaged quintile of neighborhoods is estimated to reduce the probability of graduation from 96% to 76% for black children, and from 95% to 87% for nonblack children. PMID:22879678

  7. Genetic and environmental influences on residential location in the U.S

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Glen E.; Dansie, Elizabeth J.; Strachan, Eric; Munsell, Melissa; Huang, Ruizhu; Moudon, Anne Vernez; Goldberg, Jack; Buchwald, Dedra

    2012-01-01

    We used a classical twin design and measures of neighborhood walkability and social deprivation, using each twin’s street address, to examine genetic and environmental influences on the residential location of 1,389 same-sex pairs from a U.S. community-based twin registry. Within-pair correlations and structural equation models estimated these influences on walkability among younger (ages 18–24.9) and older (ages 25+) twins. Adjusting for social deprivation, walkability of residential location was primarily influenced by common environment with lesser contributions of unique environment and genetic factors among younger twins, while unique environment most strongly influenced walkability, with small genetic and common environment effects, among older twins. Thus, minimal variance in walkability was explained by shared genetic effects in younger and older twins, and confirms the importance of environmental factors in walkability of residential locations. PMID:22377617

  8. Social support and parenting in poor, dangerous neighborhoods.

    PubMed

    Ceballo, Rosario; McLoyd, Vonnie C

    2002-01-01

    This study investigated how stressful environmental conditions influence the relation between mothers' social support and parenting strategies, utilizing interview data from a sample of 262 poor, African American single mothers and their seventh- and eighth-grade children, as well as objective data about respondents' neighborhoods. In general, the results indicated that neighborhood conditions moderate the relation between social support and parenting behaviors. Specifically, as neighborhood conditions worsened, the positive relation between emotional support and mothers' nurturant parenting was weakened. In a similar fashion, the negative relation between instrumental social support and punishment was stronger in better neighborhoods. As the surrounding environments became poorer and more dangerous, the relation between greater instrumental support and a lower reliance on punishment was weakened. Thus, on the whole, hierarchical regression analyses indicated that the positive influences of social support on parenting behavior were strained and attenuated in poorer, high-crime environments. PMID:12146749

  9. Quantifying Separate and Unequal: Racial-Ethnic Distributions of Neighborhood Poverty in Metropolitan America

    PubMed Central

    Osypuk, Theresa L.; Galea, Sandro; McArdle, Nancy; Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores

    2009-01-01

    Researchers measuring racial inequality of neighborhood environment across metropolitan areas (MAs) have traditionally employed segregation measures, yet such measures are limited for incorporating a third axis of information, including neighborhood opportunity. Using Census 2000 tract-level data for the largest U.S. MAs, we introduce the interquartile-range overlap statistic to summarize the substantial separation of entire distributions of neighborhood environments between racial groups. We find neighborhood poverty distributions for minorities overlap only 27% with those for whites. Further, the separation of racial groups into neighborhoods of differing poverty rates is strongly correlated with racial residential segregation. The overlap statistic provides a straightforward, policy-relevant metric for monitoring progress towards achieving more equal environments of neighborhood opportunity space. PMID:20160903

  10. Battling America's epidemic of physical inactivity: building more walkable, livable communities.

    PubMed

    Fenton, Mark

    2005-01-01

    The US surgeon general recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity a day for adults to reduce the risk of chronic disease and an early death. Yet only about 1 in 4 American adults meets that recommendation through leisure-time physical activity and/or conscious exercise. One result is the so-called obesity epidemic, but a sedentary lifestyle also increases the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and cancer. We must create environments in which physical activity becomes a routine part of the day for more Americans. Encouraging routine walking and bicycling appears to be especially promising because of a growing understanding of how to create bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly settings. Everyone, not just those working in public health, must ally themselves with community leaders to pursue programs and policies to create settings with 4 key attributes: more compact neighborhoods with a mix of land uses; a comprehensive network of pathways, trails, bike lanes, and mass transit to allow "active" transportation; site designs that welcome cyclists and pedestrians; and an umbrella of safety that encourages people to get out of their cars. Many specific resources and programs are recommended to advance this agenda. Finally, we all must become role models by walking and cycling whenever possible and inviting others to do so with us. PMID:16246279