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Gavin R. McCormack, Christine M. Friedenreich, Billie Giles-Corti, Patricia K. Doyle-Baker and Alan Shiell

Background:

The built and social environments may contribute to physical activity motivations and behavior. We examined the extent to which the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) mediated the association between neighborhood walkability and walking.

Methods:

Two random cross-sectional samples (n = 4422 adults) completed telephone interviews capturing walking-related TPB variables (perceived behavioral control (PBC), attitudes, subjective norm, intention). Of those, 2006 completed a self-administered questionnaire capturing walkability, social support (friends, family, dog ownership), and neighborhood-based transportation (NTW) and recreational walking (NRW). The likelihood of undertaking 1) any vs. none and 2) sufficient vs. insufficient levels (≥150 vs. <150 minutes/week) of NTW and NWR, in relation to walkability, social support, and TPB was estimated.

Results:

Any and sufficient NTW were associated with access to services, connectivity, residential density, not owning a dog (any NTW only), and friend and family support. Any and sufficient NRW were associated with neighborhood aesthetics (any NRW only), dog ownership, and friend and family support. PBC partially mediated the association between access to services and NTW (any and sufficient), while experiential attitudes partially mediated the association between neighborhood aesthetics and any NRW.

Conclusions:

Interventions that increase positive perceptions of the built environment may motivate adults to undertake more walking.

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Patricia F. Coogan, Laura F. White, Stephen R. Evans, Julie R. Palmer and Lynn Rosenberg

Background:

Influences on TV viewing time, which is associated with adverse health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes, need clarification. We assessed the relation of neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) and walkability with TV viewing time in the Black Women’s Health Study, a prospective study of African American women.

Methods:

We created neighborhood SES and walkability scores using data from the U.S. census and other sources. We estimated odds ratios for TV viewing 5+ hours/day compared with 0–1 hours/day for quintiles of neighborhood SES and walkability scores.

Results:

Neighborhood SES was inversely associated with TV viewing time. The odds ratio for watching 5+ hours/day in the highest compared with the lowest quintile of neighborhood SES was 0.66 (95% CI 0.54–0.81). Neighborhood walkability was not associated with TV viewing time.

Conclusions:

Neighborhood SES should be considered in devising strategies to combat the high levels of sedentariness prevalent in African American women.

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Hannah M. Badland, Rosanna Keam, Karen Witten and Robin Kearns

Background:

Public open spaces (POS) are recognized as important to promote physical activity engagement. However, it is unclear how POS attributes, such as activities available, environmental quality, amenities present, and safety, are associated with neighborhood-level walkability and deprivation.

Methods:

Twelve neighborhoods were selected within 1 constituent city of Auckland, New Zealand based on higher (n = 6) or lower (n = 6) walkability characteristics. Neighborhoods were dichotomized as more (n = 7) or less (n = 5) socioeconomically deprived. POS (n = 69) were identified within these neighborhoods and audited using the New Zealand-Public Open Space Tool. Unpaired 1-way analysis of variance tests were applied to compare differences in attributes and overall score of POS by neighborhood walkability and deprivation.

Results:

POS located in more walkable neighborhoods have significantly higher overall scores when compared with less walkable neighborhoods. Deprivation comparisons identified POS located in less deprived communities have better quality environments, but fewer activities and safety features present when compared with more deprived neighborhoods.

Conclusions:

A positive relationship existed between presence of POS attributes and neighborhood walkability, but the relationship between POS and neighborhood-level deprivation was less clear. Variation in neighborhood POS quality alone is unlikely to explain poorer health outcomes for residents in more deprived areas.

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Greg Lindsey, Yuling Han, Jeffrey Wilson and Jihui Yang

Purpose:

To model urban trail traffic as a function of neighborhood characteristics and other factors including weather and day of week.

Methods:

We used infrared monitors to measure traffic at 30 locations on five trails for periods ranging from 12 months to more than 4 y. We measured neighborhood characteristics using geographic information systems, satellite imagery, and US Census and other secondary data. We used multiple regression techniques to model daily traffic.

Results:

The statistical model explains approximately 80% of the variation in trail traffic. Trail traffic correlates positively and significantly with income, neighborhood population density, education, percent of neighborhood in commercial use, vegetative health, area of land in parking, and mean length of street segments in access networks. Trail traffic correlates negatively and significantly with the percentage of neighborhood residents in age groups greater than 64 and less than 5.

Conclusions:

Trail traffic is significantly correlated with neighborhood characteristics. Health officials can use these findings to influence the design and location of trails and to maximize opportunities for increases in physical activity.

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Jacqueline Kerr, Greg Norman, Rachel Millstein, Marc A. Adams, Cindy Morgan, Robert D. Langer and Matthew Allison

Background:

Few studies of older adults have compared environmental correlates of walking and physical activity in women who may be more influenced by the environment. Environmental measures at different spatial levels have seldom been compared. Findings from previous studies are generally inconsistent.

Methods:

This study investigated the relationship between the built environment and physical activity in older women from the Women’s Health Initiative cohort in San Diego County (N = 5401). Built environment measures were created for 3 buffers around participants’ residential address. Linear regression analyses investigated the relationship between the built environment features and self-reported physical activity and walking.

Results:

Total walking was significantly positively associated with the walkability index (β = .050: half-mile buffer), recreation facility density (β = .036: 1-mile buffer), and distance to the coast (β = –.064; P-values < .05). Total physical activity was significantly negatively associated with distance to the coast and positively with recreation facility density (β = .036: 1-mile buffer; P < .05).

Conclusions:

Although effect sizes were small, we did find important relationships between walkability and walking in older adults, which supports recommendations for community design features to include age friendly elements. More intense physical activity may occur in recreational settings than neighborhood streets.

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Lawrence Frank and Sarah Kavage

Background:

Evidence shows significant relationships between aspects of the built environment and physical activity. Land use and transportation investments are needed to create environments that support and promote physical activity.

Methods:

The policy relevance of recent evidence on the built environment and physical activity is discussed, along with an assessment of near, medium, and longer term pricing and regulatory actions that could be considered to promote physical activity. These actions are evaluated based on their consistency with the current evidence on what would support and promote physical activity.

Results:

A wide range of pricing and regulatory strategies are presented that would promote physical activity. There is an unmet demand for activity friendly, walkable environments. Creating more walkable places is an essential component of a national plan to increase physical activity levels of Americans.

Conclusions:

The built environment is an enabler or disabler of physical activity. Creating more walkable environments is an essential step in averting what is currently a market failure where the supply and demand for walkable environments is misaligned. The desire to be more physically active would be supported through investments in walking, biking, and transit. Concentration of development within existing urban areas supported by transit and implementing pricing strategies can support physical activity.

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Lee * Hyung Jin Kim * Diane M. Dowdy * Deanna M. Hoelscher * Marcia G. Ory * 9 2013 10 10 7 7 949 949 960 960 10.1123/jpah.10.7.949 Do Motivation-Related Cognitions Explain the Relationship Between Perceptions of Urban Form and Neighborhood Walking? Gavin R. McCormack * Christine M

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Javier Molina-García and Ana Queralt

, Sallis JF , Chapman J , Saelens BE . Linking objectively measured physical activity with objectively measured urban form: findings from SMARTRAQ . Am J Prev Med. 2005 ; 28 ( 2 ): 117 – 125 . doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2004.11.001 15694519 10.1016/j.amepre.2004.11.001 20. Janssen E , Sugiyama T

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Allison Ross, Ja Youn Kwon, Pamela Hodges Kulinna and Mark Searle

Francisco Bay Area . Transportation . 1997 ; 24 ( 2 ): 125 – 158 . doi:10.1023/A:1017959825565 10.1023/A:1017959825565 16. McMillan TE . The relative influence of urban form on a child’s travel mode to school . Transp Res Part A . 2007 ; 41 ( 1 ): 69 – 79 . doi:10.1016/j.tra.2006.05.011 17. Coleman

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Jerome N. Rachele, Vincent Learnihan, Hannah M. Badland, Suzanne Mavoa, Gavin Turrell and Billie Giles-Corti

.1177/0042098008093386 37. Rajamani J , Bhat C , Handy S , Knaap G , Song Y . Assessing impact of urban form measures on nonwork trip mode choice after controlling for demographic and level-of-service effects . Transp Res Record. 2003 ; 1831 : 158 – 165 . 10.3141/1831-18 38. Chin GK , Van Niel KP