SPATIAL-STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF FACTORS DETERMINING PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING OF JAPANESE ADULTS LIVING IN RURAL AREA



The purpose of this study was to apply geographic information systems (GIS) to determine to what degree three key factors (built environment, social capital, and walking behavior) influence the psychological well-being of middle-aged and older adults in rural Japan. Subjects were 754 examinees of a periodic public health check-up performed in their residential areas. By using a questionnaire, attributions of subjects' social capital (trustful and reciprocal attitudes toward neighbors), walking behavior (frequency of walking per week), and psychological well-being (World Health Organization-Five Well-Being Index) were assessed. An objective characteristic of the neighborhood built environment (accessibility to facilities), was obtained by the number of groceries, restaurants, community centers, and hospitals or post offices located within an area of 1 km radius from each subject's home. The results of a series of logistic and regression analyses using basic characteristics of subjects (sex, age, education, marital status, and self-rated health) as confounders indicated that, in general, built environment, social capital, and walking behavior contributed to increasing psychological well-being, respectively. Built environment also contributed to increasing walking behavior, while it suggested to contribute to decreasing social capital. The implication of the present study is that built environment have both a direct and an indirect influence on psychological well-being. Keywords: Built environment, Social determinants of health, Physical activity


Wataru Onoguchi