Leider, J., Chriqui, J.F., & Thrun, E. (2017). Associations Between Active Living-Oriented Zoning and No Adult Leisure-Time Physical Activity in the U.S.. Prev Med. 95(Suppl), S120-S125.
Nearly one-third of adults report no leisure-time physical activity (LTPA). Governmental and authoritative bodies recognize the role that community design through zoning code changes can play in enabling LTPA. This study examined the association between zoning and no adult LTPA in the U.S. This study was conducted between 2012 and 2016, with analyses occurring in 2015–2016. Zoning codes effective as of 2010 were compiled for jurisdictions located in the 495 most populous U.S. counties and were evaluated for pedestrian-oriented code reform zoning, 11 active living-oriented provisions (e.g., sidewalks, bike-pedestrian connectivity, mixed use, bike lanes) and a summated zoning scale (max = 12). Individual-level LTPA data were obtained from the 2012 CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). County-aggregated, population-weighted zoning variables were constructed for linking to BRFSS. Log-log multivariate regressions (N = 147,517 adults), controlling for individual and county characteristics and with robust standard errors clustered on county, were conducted to examine associations between zoning and no LTPA. Relative risks (RR) compared predicted lack of LTPA at 0% and 100% county-level population exposure to each zoning predictor. Zoning code reforms were associated with a 13% lower probability of no LTPA (RR: 0.87, 95% CI: 0.82–0.92). Except for crosswalks, all zoning provisions were associated with an 11–16% lower probability of no LTPA. Having all 12 zoning provisions was associated with a 22% lower probability of no LTPA (RR: 0.78, 95% CI: 0.72–0.83). The results suggest that active living-oriented zoning is a policy lever available to communities seeking to reduce rates of no LTPA.