Subpopulation differences in the association between neighborhood urban form and neighborhood-based physical activity

Health Place. 2014 Jul;28:109-15. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.04.001. Epub 2014 May 3.


This study investigated whether associations between the neighborhood built environment and neighborhood-based physical activity (PA) varied by sociodemographic and health-related characteristics. A random sample of adults (n=2006) completed telephone- and self-administered questionnaires. Questionnaires captured PA, sociodemographic, and health-related characteristics. Neighborhood-based PA (MET-minutes/week) was compared across low, medium, and high walkable neighborhoods for each sociodemographic (sex, age, dependents, education, income, motor vehicle access, and dog ownership) and health-status (general health and weight status) subpopulation. With few exceptions, subpopulations residing in high walkable neighborhoods undertook more (p<0.05) neighborhood-based PA than their counterparts in less walkable neighborhoods. Improving neighborhood walkability is a potentially effective population health intervention for increasing neighborhood-based PA.

Keywords: Built environment; Neighborhood; Physical activity; Population health; Walkability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alberta
  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Environment Design*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population
  • Walking / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult