Research on walking and walkability has yet to focus on wayfinding, the interactive, problem-solving process by which people use environmental information to locate themselves and navigate through various settings.
We reviewed the literature on outdoor pedestrian-oriented wayfinding to examine its relationship to walking and walkability, 2 areas of importance to physical activity promotion.
Our findings document that wayfinding is cognitively demanding and can compete with other functions, including walking itself. Moreover, features of the environment can either facilitate or impede wayfinding, just as environmental features can influence walking.
Although there is still much to be learned about wayfinding and walking behaviors, our review helps frame the issues and lays out the importance of this area of research and practice.