Walkability and its association with walking/cycling and body mass index among adults in different regions of Germany: a cross-sectional analysis of pooled data from five German cohorts

Nadja Kartschmit, Robynne Sutcliffe, Mark Patrick Sheldon, Susanne Moebus, Karin Halina Greiser, Saskia Hartwig, Detlef Thürkow, Ulrike Stentzel, Neeltje van den Berg, Kathrin Wolf, Werner Maier, Annette Peters, Salman Ahmed, Corinna Köhnke, Rafael Mikolajczyk, Andreas Wienke, Alexander Kluttig, Gavin Rudge

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To examine three walkability measures (points of interest (POI), transit stations and impedance (restrictions to walking) within 640 m of participant's addresses) in different regions in Germany and assess the relationships between walkability, walking/cycling and body mass index (BMI) using generalised additive models.

SETTING: Five different regions and cities of Germany using data from five cohort studies.

PARTICIPANTS: For analysing walking/cycling behaviour, there were 6269 participants of a pooled sample from three cohorts with a mean age of 59.2 years (SD: 14.3) and of them 48.9% were male. For analysing BMI, there were 9441 participants of a pooled sample of five cohorts with a mean age of 62.3 years (SD: 12.8) and of them 48.5% were male.

OUTCOMES: (1) Self-reported walking/cycling (dichotomised into more than 30 min and 30 min and less per day; (2) BMI calculated with anthropological measures from weight and height.

RESULTS: Higher impedance was associated with lower prevalence of walking/cycling more than 30 min/day (prevalence ratio (PR): 0.95; 95% CI 0.93 to 0.97), while higher number of POI and transit stations were associated with higher prevalence (PR 1.03; 95% CI 1.02 to 1.05 for both measures). Higher impedance was associated with higher BMI (ß: 0.15; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.25) and a higher number of POI with lower BMI (ß: -0.14; 95% CI -0.24 to 0.04). No association was found between transit stations and BMI (ß: 0.005, 95% CI -0.11 to 0.12). Stratified by cohort we observed heterogeneous associations between BMI and transit stations and impedance.

CONCLUSION: We found evidence for associations of walking/cycling with walkability measures. Associations for BMI differed across cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere033941
Number of pages11
JournalBMJ open
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Public health
  • Social medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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