Association of physical activity and neighborhood environment among Japanese adults

Prev Med. 2009 Apr;48(4):321-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.01.014. Epub 2009 Jan 30.


Objective: Although environmental attributes related to physical activity is an emerging research topic, most studies have been reported from Western countries. This study aimed to examine the relationship between perceived environment and physical activity among Japanese adults.

Methods: The sample included 492 adults aged 20 to 74 years (61%: male) living in Tokyo and Himeji in Japan. Primary measures were the short version of International Physical Activity Questionnaire and its Environmental Module. Data were collected between October and December 2003. Odds ratio (OR) of meeting physical activity recommendations was examined in relation to neighborhood environmental characteristics, adjusted for age, sex, employment status and education.

Results: Three perceived environmental attributes were significantly related to walking 150 min/week or more: high residential density (OR=1.82), good access to shops (OR=1.65) and presence of sidewalks (OR=1.65). Two environmental attributes, access to shops (OR=2.32) and the presence of bike lanes (OR=1.57), were related to high levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity (950 MET*min/week or more).

Conclusion: Associations of physical activity with four environmental attributes emerged in this Japanese sample. These results support the generalizability of findings on physical activity environments across Western countries and Japan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Environment Design*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Walking / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult