Heterogeneity in physical activity participation of older adults: A latent class analysis

Zhengying Liu (Corresponding author), Astrid D.A.M. Kemperman, Harry J.P. Timmermans, Dongfeng Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Participation in leisure and transport-related physical activities is generally viewed as the main means of increasing overall physical activity levels of older adults. The success of any intervention strategy depends on how well the strategy fits older people's physical activity patterns. This study therefore examines heterogeneity in physical activity patterns of older adults and the relationships between these patterns and socio-demographic and neighborhood environmental characteristics. This is done using a latent class multinomial logit model based on one-week diary data collected on 363 Dalian Chinese older adults aged 60 and over in 2017. The results show that two segments of physical activity patterns of older adults can be identified: leisure physical activities oriented and both transport-related and leisure physical activities oriented. Age, physical limitation and having grandchildren in the household have an important influence on physical activity patterns of older people. However, there are no significant relationships between physical activity patterns and various environmental characteristics, except accessibility of local shops, condition of footpaths and safety from crime. The empirical findings have implications for the development of tailored interventions to maintain or promote physical activity of older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102999
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Aging
  • Latent class model
  • Neighborhood environment
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity
  • Segments


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