Limits...
Using manipulated photographs to identify features of streetscapes that may encourage older adults to walk for transport.

Van Cauwenberg J, Van Holle V, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Clarys P, Nasar J, Salmon J, Goubert L, Deforche B - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: The effect of sidewalk evenness was even stronger when the street's overall upkeep was good and when traffic was absent.There were no moderating effects by gender or functional limitations.However, future research in larger samples and in real-life settings is needed to confirm current findings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Human Biometry and Biomechanics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium; Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium; Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO), Brussels, Belgium.

ABSTRACT
Experimental evidence of environmental features important for physical activity is challenging to procure in real world settings. The current study aimed to investigate the causal effects of environmental modifications on a photographed street's appeal for older adults' walking for transport. Secondly, we examined whether these effects differed according to gender, functional limitations, and current level of walking for transport. Thirdly, we examined whether different environmental modifications interacted with each other. Qualitative responses were also reported to gain deeper insight into the observed quantitative relationships. Two sets of 16 panoramic photographs of a streetscape were created, in which six environmental factors were manipulated (sidewalk evenness, traffic level, general upkeep, vegetation, separation from traffic, and benches). Sixty older adults sorted these photographs on appeal for walking for transport on a 7-point scale and reported qualitative information on the reasons for their rankings. Sidewalk evenness appeared to have the strongest influence on a street's appeal for transport-related walking. The effect of sidewalk evenness was even stronger when the street's overall upkeep was good and when traffic was absent. Absence of traffic, presence of vegetation, and separation from traffic also increased a street's appeal for walking for transport. There were no moderating effects by gender or functional limitations. The presence of benches increased the streetscape's appeal among participants who already walked for transport at least an hour/week. The protocols and methods used in the current study carry the potential to further our understanding of environment-PA relationships. Our findings indicated sidewalk evenness as the most important environmental factor influencing a street's appeal for walking for transport among older adults. However, future research in larger samples and in real-life settings is needed to confirm current findings.

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The basic panoramic photograph that served as a basis for all environmental manipulations.
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pone-0112107-g001: The basic panoramic photograph that served as a basis for all environmental manipulations.

Mentions: The panoramic photographs were all modified versions of one “basic” panoramic photograph (see Figure 1). This basic photograph was taken at eye level from the sidewalk in a typical (semi-)urban street in Flanders (Belgium). The basic photograph itself was not included in the two sets of photographs, because it was necessary to modify it slightly to be able to perform the intended manipulations. In both sets of 16 photographs, four environmental factors were experimentally manipulated using Adobe Photoshop software. Each environmental factor had two levels, yielding 24 = 16 photographs per sorting task that presented all possible combinations of environmental factors. We restricted the number of photographs to 16 per set since 16 photographs appeared to be the maximum number of photographs that was feasible for older participants to sort during a pilot test of our protocol. The selection of environmental factors to be manipulated was based upon the environmental factors that appeared to be key factors affecting older adults' walking for transport in two previous studies with Flemish older adults [15], [40]. The two sets of sixteen manipulated photographs were printed in color on cardboard in a 27.0×7.7 cm format.


Using manipulated photographs to identify features of streetscapes that may encourage older adults to walk for transport.

Van Cauwenberg J, Van Holle V, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Clarys P, Nasar J, Salmon J, Goubert L, Deforche B - PLoS ONE (2014)

The basic panoramic photograph that served as a basis for all environmental manipulations.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4232399&req=5

pone-0112107-g001: The basic panoramic photograph that served as a basis for all environmental manipulations.
Mentions: The panoramic photographs were all modified versions of one “basic” panoramic photograph (see Figure 1). This basic photograph was taken at eye level from the sidewalk in a typical (semi-)urban street in Flanders (Belgium). The basic photograph itself was not included in the two sets of photographs, because it was necessary to modify it slightly to be able to perform the intended manipulations. In both sets of 16 photographs, four environmental factors were experimentally manipulated using Adobe Photoshop software. Each environmental factor had two levels, yielding 24 = 16 photographs per sorting task that presented all possible combinations of environmental factors. We restricted the number of photographs to 16 per set since 16 photographs appeared to be the maximum number of photographs that was feasible for older participants to sort during a pilot test of our protocol. The selection of environmental factors to be manipulated was based upon the environmental factors that appeared to be key factors affecting older adults' walking for transport in two previous studies with Flemish older adults [15], [40]. The two sets of sixteen manipulated photographs were printed in color on cardboard in a 27.0×7.7 cm format.

Bottom Line: The effect of sidewalk evenness was even stronger when the street's overall upkeep was good and when traffic was absent.There were no moderating effects by gender or functional limitations.However, future research in larger samples and in real-life settings is needed to confirm current findings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Human Biometry and Biomechanics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium; Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium; Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO), Brussels, Belgium.

ABSTRACT
Experimental evidence of environmental features important for physical activity is challenging to procure in real world settings. The current study aimed to investigate the causal effects of environmental modifications on a photographed street's appeal for older adults' walking for transport. Secondly, we examined whether these effects differed according to gender, functional limitations, and current level of walking for transport. Thirdly, we examined whether different environmental modifications interacted with each other. Qualitative responses were also reported to gain deeper insight into the observed quantitative relationships. Two sets of 16 panoramic photographs of a streetscape were created, in which six environmental factors were manipulated (sidewalk evenness, traffic level, general upkeep, vegetation, separation from traffic, and benches). Sixty older adults sorted these photographs on appeal for walking for transport on a 7-point scale and reported qualitative information on the reasons for their rankings. Sidewalk evenness appeared to have the strongest influence on a street's appeal for transport-related walking. The effect of sidewalk evenness was even stronger when the street's overall upkeep was good and when traffic was absent. Absence of traffic, presence of vegetation, and separation from traffic also increased a street's appeal for walking for transport. There were no moderating effects by gender or functional limitations. The presence of benches increased the streetscape's appeal among participants who already walked for transport at least an hour/week. The protocols and methods used in the current study carry the potential to further our understanding of environment-PA relationships. Our findings indicated sidewalk evenness as the most important environmental factor influencing a street's appeal for walking for transport among older adults. However, future research in larger samples and in real-life settings is needed to confirm current findings.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus