Walking short distances provides a convenient opportunity to attain the health benefits of moderate-intensity physical activity. The present study tested the reliability and validity of an instrument designed to assess self-efficacy to overcome barriers to walking for transportation.
A sample of 305 undergraduates, ages 18 to 46 y (mean = 20.6 y) (70.3% female), completed self-efficacy measures for travel-related walking and for vigorous exercise. Minutes of moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity were assessed using a MTI accelerometer (n = 85).
Overall, subjects reported low levels of self-efficacy to overcome barriers to walking for transportation. The eight-item walking for transportation self-efficacy scale demonstrated good reliability, discriminant validity, and expected relations to physical activity criteria.
The conceptual distinction between self-efficacy for travel-related walking and self-efficacy for vigorous exercise may have important implications for interventions seeking to promote moderate-intensity physical activity through walking for transportation.
The authors are with the University of California, Irvine; Dunton is with the Dept of Psychology and Social Behavior and Schneider is with the university’s Dept of Planning, Policy, and Design.