Environmental correlates of physical activity in driving and non-driving rural Japanese women

Prev Med. 2009 Dec;49(6):490-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.09.014. Epub 2009 Sep 18.


Objective: This study examined the relationship between physical activity and the environment among rural Japanese women, and whether that relationship varied with driving status.

Methods: 434 women aged 40-64 years in Unnan City, rural Japan, were surveyed in 2006 about physical activity and their neighborhood environments. The proximity and frequency of public transport were measured using geographic information systems software.

Results: Perceived good access to public transport and recreational facilities, presence of bike lanes, and good aesthetics were among factors positively associated with being physically active. The interaction between the convenience of bus service and driving status was statistically significant (P=0.023). Non-drivers residing in areas where bus service was moderately convenient were more likely to be active than those who were without it.

Conclusion: These findings suggested that driving status is a potential modifier of the relationship between physical activity and the convenience of bus service and that convenient bus service is important for promoting physical activity especially in non-drivers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Environment Design*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health
  • Social Environment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transportation
  • Walking*