Local Retail Destinations and Middle-to-Older Adults’ Mobility Decline

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstractpeer-review


Mobility, defined here as functional ability to walk, is essential for older adults to remain independent and to facilitate ageing in place. To address mobility decline, long-term and wide-reaching prevention strategies are required. Local environments that support habitual walking are thought to assist ageing residents to sustain their mobility over time. We examined associations between the number of local retail destinations within different distances from home and mobility decline among middle-to-older aged Australian adults.
Methods: Data from 1,397 adults (aged 50-89 years) who participated in a cohort study conducted in Adelaide were analysed. Baseline data were collected in 2000–03 with follow-up in 2005-06. Mobility was assessed using part of the physical function sub-scale (3 walking and 2 stair-climbing items) of the SF36. Mobility decline was defined as reporting a lower score in any of the items at follow-up relative to baseline. The exposure measure was the number of retail destinations within 600m, 601-800m, 801-1000m, and 1001-1200m of the participant residence. Multi-level logistic regression examined associations of mobility decline with each exposure measure, adjusting for covariates including the network distance to city centre and to closest suburban centre. All destination variables were examined simultaneously.
Results: During the follow-up period (median: 4 years), 41% of participants reported mobility decline. Participants having more retail destinations within 600m had a lower likelihood of reporting mobility decline: each 10 additional retail destinations was associated with 8% lower odds of developing mobility decline (OR=0.92, 95%CI: 0.86, 0.99). No associations were observed for the other exposure measures. Conclusions:The presence of retail destinations within 600m of home, which can be walked in less than 10 minutes, may help middle-to-older aged adults to maintain mobility, regardless of the distance to city centre. These results implicate the presence of easily accessible local retail areas as supporting mobility maintenance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAnnual Conference of the Australian Association of Gerontology -
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Australian Association of Gerontology
Period1/01/11 → …

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