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Abstract

The walkability of neighborhoods is considered an important indicator of public health. Walkability is defined as a composite of population density, street connectivity, and business access. The walkability of one’s neighborhood can influence one’s perceived physical function and body mass index. PURPOSE: In this research project, we examine how one perceives the walkability of their neighborhood and how that influences self-reported body mass index, physical function, and outcome expectations for exercise. METHODS: Participants were asked to complete a survey that consisted of 45 questions which included demographic information, one’s physical function (Physical Function Questionnaire - Short Form 10b), outcome expectations related to exercise (Outcome Expectations for Exercise Questionnaire) and information about one’s neighborhood environment and the walkability of it (Physical Activity Neighborhood Environment Survey – Self-administered Environmental Module). The PANES scores of each individual were summed and dichotomized to indicate the range of environmental support for physical activity. Statistical analysis was computed through IBM SPSS 24 and Microsoft Excel. RESULTS: Results of this pilot study suggests that 56% of the population (n=32), aged 25-71 years, indicated that their neighborhoods were moderately to highly supportive for walkability as demonstrated by the walking index. All participants but two were from the Corpus Christi vicinity. There were no significant findings noted between BMI and the physical functions. However, it was noted that there was an inverse relationship between physical function and age. It was also noted that there was no significant relationship noted between walkability scores and BMI (r =.31, p =.089). CONCLUSION: Participants in this study indicated that they were not limited by their physical functions. Due to the limited amount of participants recruited in this pilot study, general assumptions of the Corpus Christi community cannot be made. Further investigation needs to be done in order to evaluate the neighborhood walkability and public health indicators.

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