Aytur, S.A., Rodriguez, D.A., Evenson, K.R., Catellier, D.J., & Rosamond, W.D. (2007). Promoting Active Community Environments Through Land Use and Transportation Planning. American Journal of Health Promotion, 21(4S), 397-407.
Purpose: To examine the role of land use and transportation plans as policy instruments for promoting active community environments.
Design: Cross-sectional analysis using multilevel models to examine whether active community environment scores were associated with leisure and transportation-related physical activity (PA) and whether associations varied by household income.
Setting: 67 North Carolina counties
Subjects: Adults (n = 6694) from pooled 2000 and 2002 North Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys.
Measures: Active community environment scores, derived from a 2003 survey of planning directors, representing the presence of nonmotorized transportation improvements, mixed land use classification, and comprehensiveness of implementation tools. Dependent variables were self-reported PA measures from the BRFSS. Sociodemographic variables were derived from the 2000 U.S. Census of Population.
Results: After adjustment for sociodemographic factors, more favorable active community environment scores were significantly associated with leisure PA (p = .001), transportation PA (p <.01), bicycling (p <.05), walking 150 minutes/week (p <.001), and meeting PA recommendations (p <.0001). In stratified analyses, lower-income individuals (<$25,000) living in high scoring counties were three times more likely to participate in transportation PA
compared with those living in low scoring counties (95% confidence interval, 1.4, 7.3).
Conclusions: This study identifies previously unexamined policy and institutional correlates of PA related to land use and transportation planning. Plans may provide a means to incorporate community support for active living into public policy.