Neighborhood factors relevant for walking in older, urban, African American adults

J Aging Phys Act. 2010 Jan;18(1):99-115. doi: 10.1123/japa.18.1.99.


Focus-group and photo-voice methodology were used to identify the salient factors of the neighborhood environment that encourage or discourage walking in older, urban African Americans. Twenty-one male (n = 2) and female (n = 19) African Americans age 60 years and older (M = 70 +/- 8.7, range = 61-85) were recruited from a large urban senior center. Photographs taken by the participants were used to facilitate focus-group discussions. The most salient factors that emerged included the presence of other people, neighborhood surroundings, and safety from crime, followed by sidewalk and traffic conditions, animals, public walking tracks and trails, and weather. Future walking interventions for older African Americans should include factors that encourage walking, such as the presence of other friendly or active people, attractive or peaceful surroundings, and a sense of safety from crime.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / psychology
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Crime
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Walking* / psychology