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Background:

The objectives of this study were to assess (1) pedestrian activity levels among adults, (2) where and why adults engage in pedestrian activity, and (3) what adults consider when deciding where to engage in pedestrian activity.

Methods:

Pedestrian activity was assessed in 12,036 California adults, ≥18 years, using a random digit-dial telephone survey.

Results:

Significant differences were identified by race, sex, age, and physical activity level in the type, location, and purpose of pedestrian activities. Men engage in pedestrian activity at work, and women engage in pedestrian activity while escorting children to school and running errands. Whites primarily engage in leisure-time pedestrian activity, and non-whites are more likely to engage in pedestrian activity for transportation. Older adults were less active than their younger counterparts.

Conclusions:

These findings should be considered by public health agencies and their partners as they continue to increase and promote opportunities for pedestrian activity. Additional research is needed to assess older adults’ physical activity patterns and preferences, barriers, and facilitators to effectively tailor physical activity promotion efforts to this at-risk group.

The authors are with the Prevention Research Center, Colabianchi is also with the Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Hooker is also with the Dept of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208.