Influence of urban neighbourhood environment on physical activity and obesity-related diseases

H. Lee, H. M. Kang, Y. J. Ko, H. S. Kim, Y. J. Kim, W. K. Bae, S. Park, B. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Objectives: The impact of characteristics of neighbourhood environment on physical activity and obesity-related diseases is still the subject of debate. This study aimed to explore the impact of urban neighbourhood environment on physical activity and obesity-related diseases. Study design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Individuals who participated in the 2009 national health-screening programme, submitted all necessary information, and had lived in Community 1 (Haengdang) or Community 2 (Ilsan) for at least 2 years (. n = 16,178) were selected for inclusion in this study. Anthropometric measures were taken and physical activity was assessed using a short questionnaire. Results: No significant difference in the trigger factors for walking, including the amount of neighbourhood park space, number of shopping malls, and distance between the community and shopping malls, was found between the two communities. However, Community 2 had a better street environment than Community 1. Participants who lived in Community 2 were more physically active [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.31, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.16-1.48] and walked more regularly (adjusted OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.02-1.17) than participants who lived in Community 1, and were less likely to have abdominal obesity (adjusted OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.77-0.91), hypertension (adjusted OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.80-0.97) and diabetes (adjusted OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.75-0.99). However, the risk of dyslipidaemia, especially in terms of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, was higher in Community 2. Conclusions: These results suggest that a walkable environment has a positive influence on hypertension and diabetes, and physical activity is the possible mechanism for this association. A walkable environment may function as an important tool for health promotion in urban areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2378
Pages (from-to)1204-1210
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • Neighbourhood environment
  • Obesity
  • Obesity-related diseases
  • Physical activity
  • Walking

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