Senior Victorians and walking: obstacles and opportunities - summary report

Public health Australia Victoria


Walking is particularly important for older adults, who are less likely than younger adults to participate in more vigorous forms of physical activity; more likely to experience social isolation; and less likely to have access to other forms of transport such as driving a car.

Increasing recognition of the value of walking has led to a growing body of research into what supports and constrains everyday walking. However, much of this research and policy interest in ‘walkable’ neighbourhoods has focused on young and middle-aged population groups, and relatively little is known about what supports and constrains walking for older adults.

This study addresses this knowledge gap through a unique and comprehensive investigation into:

  • the meaning of walking for senior Victorians (aged 60 years and over);
  • seniors’ walking behaviour: and
  • supports and constraints on walking for seniors.

The study comprises four components:

  • a literature review of supports and constraints on seniors’ walking;
  • analysis of seniors’ walking data from the Victorian Integrated Survey of Travel and Activity (VISTA);
  • eight focus group discussions with a total of 32 senior Victorians; and
  • a survey of 1128 senior Victorians.
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