Community built environment factors and mobility around senior wellness centers: The concept of "safe senior zones"

Derek G. Shendell, Matthew L. Johnson, Danna L. Sanders, Alexandra C.H. Nowakowski, Jianhua Yang, Carla D. Jeffries, Janet E. Weisman, Megan Moulding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The authors investigated built environment (BE) factors in urban neighborhoods in DeKalb County, Georgia. Each volunteering, consenting senior was placed into one of two groups: walking tours outside, then discussions (n = 37); and focus group discussions indoors about photographs of BE conditions potentially influencing mobility (n = 43). The authors sought to identify BE factors-both real and perceived by participating seniors-related to their ability to walk around senior wellness centers in a healthy and safe manner. The authors focused specifically on available literature and pilot study data for their concept of "safe senior zones" around senior wellness centers serving urban communities in this article. They also characterized their study population regarding sociodemographic variables and doctor-diagnosed chronic diseases, and types of walking aids reported used to help prevent falls. Their results can inform future applied practice and research on traffic-related exposures and BE factors concerning seniors, and support policy and planning to benefit community environmental public health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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