A Social Ecological Investigation of the Walking Behaviour of Residents Living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Wan Rabiah Wan Omar (2011). A Social Ecological Investigation of the Walking Behaviour of Residents Living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia PhD Thesis, School of Tourism, The University of Queensland.

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Author Wan Rabiah Wan Omar
Thesis Title A Social Ecological Investigation of the Walking Behaviour of Residents Living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
School, Centre or Institute School of Tourism
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-07
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Ian Patterson
Shane Pegg
Total pages 241
Total colour pages 39
Total black and white pages 202
Language eng
Subjects 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Abstract/Summary Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia, serves as the commercial core, and is the most urbanised, densely populated and fastest growing city in the country. Despite these achievements, residents of Kuala Lumpur are now faced with problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle resulting in dangerous levels of obesity, and chronic illnesses including coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, as well as colon and breast cancer. One of the suggestions to help alleviate these problems is to encourage increased walking behaviour around the city centre and within local neighbourhood areas. The promotion of walking behaviour has received growing attention among experts as it is seen as a way to reach large number of individuals in the most cost effective manner. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the main influencing determinants of walking behaviour by using a Social Ecological Model as the framework for investigating the major determinants. These includes intrapersonal factors, social support, and walking trail provision in relation to the walking behaviour of a sample population from the Malay, Indian and Chinese ethnic groups that live in Kuala Lumpur. A mixed method research design was used in this study, with quantitative data collection and analysis in the first phase, followed by qualitative interviews in the second phase, which helped to explain the initial quantitative findings. The first phase involved the mail out of a survey questionnaire to a sample of the three different ethnic groups in Kuala Lumpur (Malay, Chinese and Indian). A total number of 478 completed questionnaires were received which consisted of 169 Malays (74 males and 95 females), 164 Chinese (90 males and 74 females) and 145 Indians (72 males and 73 females). SPSS version 17.0 was used to analyse the quantitative data using descriptive statistics, factor analysis, chi-square analysis, one-way ANOVA, and multiple regression in order to test the relationships between the main variables associated with the walking behaviour of these three ethnic groups. In the second qualitative data collection phase, a total of 30 respondents were selected from Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnic populations and were interviewed with the data being analysed using a thematic analysis method. The findings from this study revealed that only 18.9% of Chinese, 37.9% of Malays and 49.7% of Indian respondents reaching the recommended level for walking activity to gain any health benefits. It was also found that the low level of walking behaviour was due to supportive and non-supportive influences derived from intrapersonal and social factors, as well as the lack of provision of appropriate walking trails to suit different ethnic groups. This study has contributed to the body of knowledge through the application of the Social Ecological Model (SEM) to increase walking behaviour. Although the SEM has been widely used in previous research, such as human and health behaviour, health promotion and physical activity that relates to behavioural change, this study has for the first time been able to integrate intrapersonal, social and walking trail characteristics in regard to the preferences of different ethnic groups particularly in Malaysia. The findings have shown that there are different sets of factors that influence walking behaviour of different ethnic groups and that in addition, there are a common set of influential factors shared across all groups. Overall, this study provides a new perspective to a discussion on the walking behaviour in a multi-ethnic community, especially in relation to Asian communities. In terms of its practical contribution, the findings from this study have provided an estimation of walking behaviour of the Kuala Lumpur residents and have justified the need for an intervention to promote walking. Finally, yet importantly, this study will provide guidance to the policymakers and urban development agencies in helping to develop strategies and to guide the design of future walking trails so as to promote increased walking behaviour in Kuala Lumpur’s multi-ethnic community.
Keyword Walking behaviour
Social ecological model
ethnic groups
Walking trails
Kuala Lumpur
Additional Notes Colour pages: 15-16, 24, 31, 42, 46, 50, 52-54, 60-61, 63, 67-68, 70, 73, 85, 90, 117-118, 136, 148-151, 153, 178, 181, 185, 187, 189, 192, 194-197, 229 and 237. Landscape pages: 78 and 155

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Created: Tue, 13 Dec 2011, 20:00:40 EST by Ms Wan Rabiah Wan Omar on behalf of Library - Information Access Service