Purpose: Improving the physical and social conditions of residential neighbourhoods may increase walking, especially among older people. Evidence on the effects of physical and social environmental interventions, and particularly the combination of both, on walking behaviour is scarce. We evaluated the effects of a small-scale physical environmental intervention (designated walking route), a social environmental intervention (neighbourhood walking group) and the combination of both on walking behaviour of older adults living in deprived neighbourhoods. Methods: Survey data of 644 older adults residing in four deprived neighbourhoods of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, were used to compare changes in walking behaviour over time (weekly minutes spent recreational walking, utilitarian walking and total walking) of those exposed to 1) a designated walking route (physical condition), 2) walking groups (social condition), 3) walking routes and walking groups (combined condition), and 4) no intervention (control condition). Measurements took place at baseline (T0), and 3 months (T1) and 9 months (T2) after the intervention. Data were analysed on a multiple imputed dataset, using multi-level negative binomial regression models, adjusting for clustering of observations within individuals. All models were adjusted for demographic covariates. Results: Total time spent walking per week increased between T0 and T1 for all conditions. The Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR) for the physical condition was 1.46 (95% CI:1.06;2.05) and for the social intervention 1.52 (95%CI:1.07;2.16). At T2, these differences remained significant for the physical condition, but not for the social condition and the combined condition. These findings were mirrored for utilitarian walking. No evidence was found for an effect on recreational walking. Conclusion: Implementing small scale, feasible, interventions in a residential neighbourhood may increase total and utilitarian walking behaviour among older adults.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Built environment, Disparities, Intervention, Older adults, Social environment, Walking
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12966-019-0863-9, hdl.handle.net/1765/123025
Journal The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Prins, R.G, Kamphuis, C.B.M, & van Lenthe, F.J. (2019). The effects of small-scale physical and social environmental interventions on walking behaviour among Dutch older adults living in deprived neighbourhoods: Results from the quasi-experimental NEW.ROADS study. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 16(1). doi:10.1186/s12966-019-0863-9