Walking for Transportation and Leisure among U.S. Adults—National Health Interview Survey 2010

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Prabasaj Paul
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Susan A. Carlson
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Dianna D. Carroll
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David Berrigan
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Janet E. Fulton
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Background:

Walking, the most commonly reported physical activity among U.S. adults, is undertaken in various domains, including transportation and leisure.

Methods:

This study examined prevalence, bout length, and mean amount of walking in the last week for transportation and leisure, by selected characteristics. Self-reported data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (N = 24,017) were analyzed.

Results:

Prevalence of transportation walking was 29.4% (95% CI: 28.6%–30.3%) and of leisure walking was 50.0% (95% CI: 49.1%–51.0%). Prevalence of transportation walking was higher among men; prevalence of leisure walking was higher among women. Most (52.4%) transportation walking bouts were 10 to 15 minutes; leisure walking bouts were distributed more evenly (28.0%, 10–15 minutes; 17.1%, 41–60 minutes). Mean time spent in transportation walking was higher among men, decreased with increasing BMI, and varied by race/ethnicity and region of residence. Mean time spent leisure walking increased with increasing age and with decreasing BMI.

Conclusion:

Demographic correlates and patterns of walking differ by domain. Interventions focusing on either leisure or transportation walking should consider correlates for the specific walking domain. Assessing prevalence, bout length, and mean time of walking for transportation and leisure separately allows for more comprehensive surveillance of walking.

Paul (vig5@cdc.gov) is with the Epidemic Intelligence Service, Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services, and Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Carlson and Fulton are with the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Carroll is with the Division of Human Development and Disability, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA and Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, GA. Berrigan is with the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.

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