Association between neighborhood availability of physical activity facilities and cognitive performance in older adults

Hui Wen Yang, Yun Hsuan Wu, Mei Chen Lin, Shu Fen Liao, Chun Chieh Fan, Chi Shin Wu, Shi Heng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The existing evidence on the contextual influence of the availability of local facilities for physical activity on the cognitive health of elderly residents is sparse. This study examined the association between neighborhood physical activity facilities and cognitive health in older individuals. A cohort study of community-dwelling older adults was performed using baseline data and follow-up data from the Taiwan Biobank. Cognitive health was measured in 32,396 individuals aged 60–70 years using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) with follow-up information on 8025 participants. The district was used as the proxy for local neighborhood. To determine neighborhood physical activity facilities, school campuses, parks, activity centers, gyms, swimming pools, and stadiums were included. Multilevel linear regression models were applied to examine the associations of neighborhood physical activity facilities with baseline MMSE and MMSE decline during follow-up, with adjustment for individual factors and neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics. Multilevel analyses revealed that there was a neighborhood-level effect on cognitive health among older adults. After adjusting for compositional and neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics, baseline MMSE was higher in individuals living in the middle- (beta = 0.12, p-value = 0.140) and high-density facility (beta = 0.22, p-value = 0.025) groups than in the low-density group (p-value for trend-test = 0.031). MMSE decline during follow-up was slower in the middle- (beta = 0.15, p-value = 0.114) and high-density facility (beta = 0.27, p-value = 0.052) groups than in the low-density group (p-value for trend-test = 0.032). Greater neighborhood availability of physical activity facilities was associated with better cognitive health among older residents. These findings have implications for designing communities and developing strategies to support cognitive health of an aging population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107669
JournalPreventive Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Cognitive aging
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Cognitive performance
  • Mini-Mental State Examination
  • Multilevel analysis
  • Neighborhood environment
  • Neighborhood physical activity facilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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