Neighborhood resources associated with active travel in older adults: A cohort study in six European Countries

Erja Portegijs*, Erik J. Timmermans, Maria V. Castell, Elaine M. Dennison, Florian Herbolsheimer, Federica Limongi, Suzan van der Pas, Laura A. Schaap, Natasja van Schoor, Dorly J.H. Deeg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To study associations between perceived neighborhood resources and time spent by older adults in active travel.

METHODS: Respondents in six European countries, aged 65-85 years, reported on the perceived presence of neighborhood resources (parks, places to sit, public transportation, and facilities) with response options "a lot," "some," and "not at all." Daily active travel time (total minutes of transport-related walking and cycling) was self-reported at the baseline (n = 2,695) and 12-18 months later (n = 2,189).

RESULTS: Reporting a lot of any of the separate resources (range B's = 0.19-0.29) and some or a lot for all four resources (B = 0.22, 95% confidence interval [0.09, 0.35]) was associated with longer active travel time than reporting none or fewer resources. Associations remained over the follow-up, but the changes in travel time were similar, regardless of the neighborhood resources.

DISCUSSION: Perceiving multiple neighborhood resources may support older adults' active travel. Potential interventions, for example, the provision of new resources or increasing awareness of existing resources, require further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)920-933
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Issue number6
Early online date23 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Active transport
  • Built environment
  • Mobility


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