An assessment of physical environment characteristics related to older adult walking behaviours using an audit tool (MAPS Senior): Findings from urban cities in Brazil and the UK

Sara Ferguson, Claire Cleland, Geraint Ellis, Ruth Hunter, Adalberto Lopes, Rodrigo Reis, Akira Hino

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

17 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: The influence of environments upon older adult physical activity (PA) is becoming increasingly widely documented. However, whilst our understanding of ‘macroscale’ influences (e.g. walkability) advances, there remains limited understanding on the influence of ‘microscale’ features, i.e. those characteristically found along streetscapes older adults may encounter as part of typical walking routines. Combined with walking data, environmental audit tools could provide an effective means of assessing the potential importance of these streetscape environments for promoting older adult PA.
Methods: To ensure the audit tool had a specific relevance to older adult populations, findings from a systematic review and focus groups were used to make adaptations to MAPS Global (Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes). This present study examines associations between microscale attributes and (i) self-reported and (ii) objectively measured PA behaviours of older adults (≥60 years) (n= c.600) living in neighbourhoods of varying walkability and income. Using virtual methods, the audit tool will capture land uses, streetscape and sidewalk qualities and amenities, and aesthetic and social elements of; routes, segments and crossings encountered by older adults in Curitiba (Brazil) and Belfast (UK). The tool is to be implemented along the first 400m of GPS-captured walking routes taken from participant residences. Mixed linear regression analyses adjusted for macro-level walkability will be conducted to assess relationships.
Discussion: Considering microscale environment changes may be easier and more feasible to implement than those at the macroscale, advancing the understanding of this topic may be central to the creation of both activity- and age-friendly environments.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2018
Event7th International Society for Physical Activity and Health Congress - Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Oct 201817 Oct 2018


Conference7th International Society for Physical Activity and Health Congress
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Cite this