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Walking in the winter: a qualitative study to identify environmental barriers encountered by seniors

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posted on 25.05.2021, 07:14 by Herthana Siva
The purpose of this research was to explore features in the built environment that are considered to be barriers by seniors when walking in the winter. Nine seniors across four neighbourhoods in the City of Mississauga participated in the study. A combination of photovoice and semi-structured interviews was used to collect data. Findings revealed safety related to fall hazards and traffic conditions as major concerns among the seniors. Participants provided suggestions for potential changes to improve walking conditions for seniors, including: judicious placement of interim crosswalks, more open public washrooms, additional benches in parks, and railings along sloping sidewalks and cameras in parks. This research contributes to the limited literature that investigates the role of the built environment on physical activity levels among seniors. Results can help inform questions for the development of a walkability audit tool, public health promotion strategies and municipal land use policies to build healthy communities.





Master of Planning


Urban Development

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Raktim Mitra