Determinants of mobility in populations of older adults: Results from a cross-sectional study in Finland, Poland and Spain

Alberto Raggi, Barbara Corso, Laura De Torres, Rui Quintas, Somnath Chatterji, Päivi Sainio, Andrea Martinuzzi, Katarzyna Zawisza, Josep Maria Haro, Nadia Minicuci, Matilde Leonardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To identify the determinants of mobility among people aged 50+ from Finland, Spain and Poland. Study design: Observational cross-sectional population study. Main outcome measures: A mobility score was based on responses to items referring to body movements, walking, moving around and using transportation. Determinants of mobility were entered in hierarchical regression models in the following order: sociodemographic characteristics, health habits, chronic conditions, description of general state of health, vision and hearing, social networks, built environment. Results: Complete data were available for 3902 participants (mean age 65.1, SD 9.8). The final model explained 64.7% of the variation in mobility. The most relevant predictors were: pain, age and living in Finland, presence of arthritis, stroke and diabetes, high-risk waist circumference, physical inactivity, and perceiving the neighborhood environment as more exploitable. Conclusions: Our results provide public health indications that could support concrete actions to address the modifiable determinants of mobility. These include the identification and treatment of pain-related problems, increasing the level of physical activity and the improvement of neighborhood features in terms of presence of general utility places or means of transportation. These factors can be modified with short- to medium-term interventions and such a change could improve the mobility of ageing population, with evident benefits for health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-91
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Built environment
  • Mobility score
  • Pain
  • Physical activity
  • Regression
  • Waist risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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