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Does public transport use prevent declines in walking speed among older adults living in England? A prospective cohort study

Does public transport use prevent declines in walking speed among older adults living in England? A prospective cohort study
Does public transport use prevent declines in walking speed among older adults living in England? A prospective cohort study
Objectives: Although there is some evidence that public transport use confers public health benefits, the evidence is limited by cross-sectional study designs and health-related confounding factors. This study examines the effect of public transport use on changes in walking speed among older adults living in England, comparing frequent users of public transport to their peers who did not use public transport because of structural barriers (poor public transport infrastructure), or through choice. Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: England.
Participants: Older adults aged 60 or older eligible for the walking speed test. 6,246 individuals at wave 2 (2004-5); 5,909 individuals at wave 3 (2006-7); 7,321 individuals at wave 4 (2008-9); 7,535 individuals at wave 5 (2010-11); and 7.664 individuals at wave 6 (2012-13) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.
Main outcome measure: The walking speed was estimated from the time taken to walk 2.4 metres. Fixed effects models and growth curve models were used to examine the associations between public transport use and walking speed.
Results: Older adults who did not sue public transport through choice or because of structural reasons had slower walking speeds [-0.02m/s (95%CI -0.03,-0.003) and -0.02m/s (95%CI -0.03,0.01), respectively] and took an extra 0.07 seconds to walk 2.4 metres compared to their peers who used public transport frequently. The age-related trajectories of decline in walking speed were slower for frequent users of public transport compared to non-users.
Conclusions: Frequent use of public transport man prevent age-related decline in physical capability by promoting physical activity among older adults. The association between public transport use and slower decline in walking speed among older adults is unlikely to be confounded by health related selection factors. Improving access to good quality public transport could improve the health of older adults.
2044-6055
Rouxel, Patrick
c8f30c0e-a8a6-468d-9d61-4b3ed7b2d1d9
Webb, Elizabeth
1a99a7be-5e07-4e0a-9b69-7f5dca27d1f0
Chandola, Tarani
3da6e9a9-f2b4-4135-aa1b-ef4c8b102dc4
Rouxel, Patrick
c8f30c0e-a8a6-468d-9d61-4b3ed7b2d1d9
Webb, Elizabeth
1a99a7be-5e07-4e0a-9b69-7f5dca27d1f0
Chandola, Tarani
3da6e9a9-f2b4-4135-aa1b-ef4c8b102dc4

Rouxel, Patrick, Webb, Elizabeth and Chandola, Tarani (2017) Does public transport use prevent declines in walking speed among older adults living in England? A prospective cohort study. BMJ Open, 7, [e017702]. (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017702).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives: Although there is some evidence that public transport use confers public health benefits, the evidence is limited by cross-sectional study designs and health-related confounding factors. This study examines the effect of public transport use on changes in walking speed among older adults living in England, comparing frequent users of public transport to their peers who did not use public transport because of structural barriers (poor public transport infrastructure), or through choice. Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: England.
Participants: Older adults aged 60 or older eligible for the walking speed test. 6,246 individuals at wave 2 (2004-5); 5,909 individuals at wave 3 (2006-7); 7,321 individuals at wave 4 (2008-9); 7,535 individuals at wave 5 (2010-11); and 7.664 individuals at wave 6 (2012-13) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.
Main outcome measure: The walking speed was estimated from the time taken to walk 2.4 metres. Fixed effects models and growth curve models were used to examine the associations between public transport use and walking speed.
Results: Older adults who did not sue public transport through choice or because of structural reasons had slower walking speeds [-0.02m/s (95%CI -0.03,-0.003) and -0.02m/s (95%CI -0.03,0.01), respectively] and took an extra 0.07 seconds to walk 2.4 metres compared to their peers who used public transport frequently. The age-related trajectories of decline in walking speed were slower for frequent users of public transport compared to non-users.
Conclusions: Frequent use of public transport man prevent age-related decline in physical capability by promoting physical activity among older adults. The association between public transport use and slower decline in walking speed among older adults is unlikely to be confounded by health related selection factors. Improving access to good quality public transport could improve the health of older adults.

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Accepted/In Press date: 8 August 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 28 September 2017
Published date: September 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 414899
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/414899
ISSN: 2044-6055
PURE UUID: dac9a73c-b9d3-4c3d-abe1-5194a71cdaad

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Date deposited: 13 Oct 2017 16:30
Last modified: 10 Mar 2022 19:06

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Contributors

Author: Patrick Rouxel
Author: Elizabeth Webb
Author: Tarani Chandola

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