Neighbourhood walking and regeneration in deprived communities

Phil Mason, Ade Kearns, Lyndal Bond
Health & Place 2011, 17 (3): 727-37
More frequent neighbourhood walking is a realistic goal for improving physical activity in deprived areas. We address regeneration activity by examining associations of residents' circumstances and perceptions of their local environment with frequent (5+ days/week) local walking (NW5) in 32 deprived neighbourhoods (Glasgow, UK), based on interview responses from a random stratified cross-sectional sample of 5657 residents. Associations were investigated by bivariate and multilevel, multivariate logistic regression. People living in low-rise flats or houses reported greater NW5 than those in multi-storey flats. Physical and social aspects of the neighbourhood were more strongly related to walking than perceptions of housing and neighbourhood, especially the neighbourhood's external reputation, and feelings of safety and belonging. Amenity use, especially of parks, play areas and general shops (mainly in the neighbourhood), was associated with more walking. Multidimensional regeneration of the physical, service, social and psychosocial environments of deprived communities therefore seems an appropriate strategy to boost walking.

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