Perceived urban neighborhood environment for physical activity of older adults in Seoul, Korea: A multimethod qualitative study

Seunghyun Yoo, Dong Ha Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This study assessed the attributes of a perceived urban neighborhood environment for the physical activity (PA) of older adults by applying a qualitative multimethod approach to collect both descriptive and spatial information. Conducted in a northern community of Seoul, Korea, from April 2014 to November 2015, data collection methods included 90 walking tours by researchers, 46 face-to-face, semi-structured interviews combined with qualitative mapping with senior residents aged 65 +, 19 guided tours with the interviewees, and 3 focus groups with 12 community service providers. Thematic analysis and pattern finding were performed on the data. Walking was the main type of PA of the older adults. Nine attributes of perceived neighborhood environment for PA were identified under three themes: daily living (everyday life activities, mobility, social opportunities, diverse destinations); the multidimensionality of accessibility (physical, economic, psychosocial), and attractiveness and pleasantness (maintenance, aesthetics). The subcategories of the attributes included proximity, access to public transportation, walkability, cost-worthiness, low or no cost, familiarity, sense of welcoming, sociocultural appropriateness, fair access, order and upkeep, safety, openness, cleanliness, and interestingness. Strategies to generate more movement and activities in the everyday routine of the elderly should be a core task for health promotion and neighborhood design. A strategic application of multiple qualitative methods can create an opportunity to build contextual understanding and to generate ideas in interactions with the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S90-S98
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Multimethods
  • Older adults
  • Perceived environment
  • Physical activity
  • Qualitative study
  • Walking


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