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Housing options, such as retirement villages, that promote and encourage healthy behaviors are needed to accommodate the growing older adult population. To examine how environmental perceptions relate to walking, residents of retirement villages in Perth, Australia, were sampled, and associations between a wide range of village and neighborhood environmental attributes and walking leisurely, briskly, and for transport were examined. Perceived village features associated with walking included aesthetics (odds ratio [OR] = 1.72), personal safety (OR = 0.43), and services and facilities (OR = 0.80), whereas neighborhood attributes included fewer physical barriers (OR = 1.37) and proximate destinations (OR = 1.93). Findings suggest that locating retirement villages in neighborhoods with many local destinations may encourage more walking than providing many services and facilities within villages. Indeed, safe villages rich with amenities were shown to be related to less walking in residents. These findings have implications for the location, design, and layout of retirement villages.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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