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      Gender-Specific Associations between Perceived Neighbourhood Walkability and Meeting Walking Recommendations When Walking for Transport and Recreation for Czech Inhabitants over 50 Years of Age


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          Few studies have investigated the different effects that the built environment may have on the physical activity behaviours of men and women. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate the gender differences in meeting walking recommendations in relation to perceived neighbourhood walkability attributes within the active transportation and leisure-time domains for Czech inhabitants over 50 years of age. The sample included 1,417 men and 1,422 women who were randomly selected. The Abbreviated Neighbourhood Environment Walkability Scale (ANEWS) was used to obtain information about the perceived environment. The self-administered long version of the IPAQ was used to assess physical activity levels. When walking for transport, men living in neighbourhoods with high street connectivity (OR = 1.47, CI = 1.04–2.9) and higher traffic and crime safety (OR = 1.28, CI = 1.02–1.6) and women living in neighbourhoods with high proximity (OR = 1.36, CI = 1.04–1.77) and high neighbourhood aesthetics (OR = 1.36, CI = 1.04–1.76) were more likely to meet recommended levels of walking. No environmental attributes were found to significantly influence the accomplishment of walking recommendations by men or women when walking for leisure. The study results indicate the gender-specific associations between transportation-related walking and the environment factors. The consideration of those factors in the design of gender-specific walking interventions for Czech inhabitants may help the interventions to be more effective in promotion of physical activity.

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          Physical Activity and Public Health: Updated Recommendation for Adults From the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association

          In 1995 the American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published national guidelines on Physical Activity and Public Health. The Committee on Exercise and Cardiac Rehabilitation of the American Heart Association endorsed and supported these recommendations. The purpose of the present report is to update and clarify the 1995 recommendations on the types and amounts of physical activity needed by healthy adults to improve and maintain health. Development of this document was by an expert panel of scientists, including physicians, epidemiologists, exercise scientists, and public health specialists. This panel reviewed advances in pertinent physiologic, epidemiologic, and clinical scientific data, including primary research articles and reviews published since the original recommendation was issued in 1995. Issues considered by the panel included new scientific evidence relating physical activity to health, physical activity recommendations by various organizations in the interim, and communications issues. Key points related to updating the physical activity recommendation were outlined and writing groups were formed. A draft manuscript was prepared and circulated for review to the expert panel as well as to outside experts. Comments were integrated into the final recommendation. To promote and maintain health, all healthy adults aged 18 to 65 yr need moderate-intensity aerobic (endurance) physical activity for a minimum of 30 min on five days each week or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 20 min on three days each week. [I (A)] Combinations of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity can be performed to meet this recommendation. [IIa (B)] For example, a person can meet the recommendation by walking briskly for 30 min twice during the week and then jogging for 20 min on two other days. Moderate-intensity aerobic activity, which is generally equivalent to a brisk walk and noticeably accelerates the heart rate, can be accumulated toward the 30-min minimum by performing bouts each lasting 10 or more minutes. [I (B)] Vigorous-intensity activity is exemplified by jogging, and causes rapid breathing and a substantial increase in heart rate. In addition, every adult should perform activities that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance a minimum of two days each week. [IIa (A)] Because of the dose-response relation between physical activity and health, persons who wish to further improve their personal fitness, reduce their risk for chronic diseases and disabilities or prevent unhealthy weight gain may benefit by exceeding the minimum recommended amounts of physical activity. [I (A)]
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            Understanding environmental influences on walking; Review and research agenda.

            Understanding how environmental attributes can influence particular physical activity behaviors is a public health research priority. Walking is the most common physical activity behavior of adults; environmental innovations may be able to influence rates of participation. Review of studies on relationships of objectively assessed and perceived environmental attributes with walking. Associations with environmental attributes were examined separately for exercise and recreational walking, walking to get to and from places, and total walking. Eighteen studies were identified. Aesthetic attributes, convenience of facilities for walking (sidewalks, trails); accessibility of destinations (stores, park, beach); and perceptions about traffic and busy roads were found to be associated with walking for particular purposes. Attributes associated with walking for exercise were different from those associated with walking to get to and from places. While few studies have examined specific environment-walking relationships, early evidence is promising. Key elements of the research agenda are developing reliable and valid measures of environmental attributes and walking behaviors, determining whether environment-behavior relationships are causal, and developing theoretical models that account for environmental influences and their interactions with other determinants.
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              Perceived and objective environmental measures and physical activity among urban adults.

              Enhancing community environments to support walking and bicycling serves as a promising approach to increase population levels of physical activity. However, few studies have simultaneously assessed perceptions and objectively measured environmental factors and their relative association with transportation or recreational physical activity. For this cross-sectional study, high- and low-income study areas were selected among census tracts in St. Louis MO ("low-walkable" city) and Savannah GA ("high-walkable" city). Between February and June 2002, a telephone survey of 1068 adults provided measures of the perceived environment and physical activity behavior. In this timeframe, objective measures were collected through environmental audits of all street segments (n =1158). These measures were summarized using 400-m buffers surrounding each respondent. Neighborhood characteristics included the land use environment, transportation environment, recreational facilities, aesthetics, and social environment. Associations were examined between neighborhood features and transportation- and recreation-based activity. After adjusting for age, gender, and education, transportation activity was negatively associated with objective measures of sidewalk levelness and perceived and objective neighborhood aesthetics. It was positively associated with perceived and objectively measured number of destinations and public transit, perceived access to bike lanes, and objective counts of active people in the neighborhood. Recreational activity was positively associated with perceived access to recreational facilities and objective measures of attractive features. These findings indicate that physical activities for transportation or recreational are associated with different perceived and objective environmental characteristics. Modifications to these features may change the physical activity behavior of residents exposed to them.

                Author and article information

                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                30 December 2013
                January 2014
                : 11
                : 1
                : 527-536
                Center for Kinanthropology Research, Institute of Active Lifestyle, Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacky University in Olomouc, Tr. Miru 115, Olomouc 77111, Czech Republic; E-Mails: karel.fromel@ 123456upol.cz (K.F.); roman.cuberek@ 123456upol.cz (R.C.)
                Author notes
                [* ] Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: jana.pelclova@ 123456upol.cz ; Tel.: +420-585-636-469; Fax: +420-585-412-899.
                © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

                : 14 November 2013
                : 18 December 2013
                : 19 December 2013

                Public health
                ipaq,anews,walking recommendations,neighbourhood environment
                Public health
                ipaq, anews, walking recommendations, neighbourhood environment


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