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Race and Ethnicity Differences in Walking and Associations with Neighborhood Perceptions among Older Adults in California


This paper estimates differences in walking and associations of walking with neighborhood perceptions among older adults in California. We analyzed the restricted-use California Health Interview Survey data merged with the American Community Survey data. Walking at least 10 minutes for leisure in the last 7 days and number of minutes walked were regressed on perceived neighborhood social cohesion scale (PNSCS) and neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics. We estimated ordinary least squares regression models. We found that positive neighborhood perceptions were significantly (p< 0.05) associated with walking among older Hispanic and Asian adults. Older Hispanic adults with above median PNSCS report that they walk 6.3 percentage points more than Non-Hispanic White adults. Older adults' perceptions of their neighbors and neighborhoods are positively correlated with walking. Policymakers can consider ways to improve neighborhood perceptions and relationships to help increase walking among minority older adults especially in low SES neighborhoods.

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