Transportation

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Walking and bicycling for daily transportation are important ways to get regular physical activity, but such active travel has decreased dramatically over the past few decades. Investing transportation funds in sidewalks, traffic-calming devices, greenways, trails and public transit make it easier for people to walk and bike within their own neighborhoods and to other places they need to go. Designing communities that support active travel also creates recreational opportunities, promotes health and can even lower health care costs. Research that shows how infrastructure improvements promote active travel can help policy-makers, planners and other professionals create healthier communities for residents of all ages.

Download our Transportation-related Resources Sheet for the best evidence available about a variety of transportation-based strategies for promoting physical activity.

You can also view and download our The Role of Transportation in Promoting Physical Activity infographic.

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“Can we walk?” Environmental supports for physical activity in India

Date: 
10/01/2017
Description: 

Adlakha D, Hipp JA, Brownson RC, et al. (2017). “Can we walk?” Environmental supports for physical activity in India. Prev Med. 103(Suppl), S81-S89.

Abstract: 

India is currently facing a non-communicable disease epidemic. Physical activity (PA) is a preventative factor for non-communicable diseases. Understanding the role of the built environment (BE) to facilitate or constrain PA is essential for public health interventions to increase population PA. The objective of this study was to understand BEs associations with PA occurring in two major life domains or life areas—travel and leisure—in urban India. Between December 2014 and April 2015, in-person surveys were conducted with participants (N = 370; female = 47.2%) in Chennai, India. Perceived BE characteristics regarding residential density, land use mix-diversity, land use mix-access, street connectivity, infrastructure for walking and bicycling, aesthetics, traffic safety, and safety from crime were measured using the adapted Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale-India (NEWS-India). Self-reported PA was measured the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. High residential density was associated with greater odds of travel PA (aOR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.2, 3.2). Land use mix-diversity was positively related to travel PA (aOR = 2.1, 95%CI = 1.2, 3.6), but not associated with leisure or total PA. The aggregate NEWS-India score predicted a two-fold increase in odds of travel PA (aOR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.1, 3.1) and a 40% decrease in odds of leisure PA (aOR = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.4, 1.0). However, the association of the aggregated score with leisure PA was not significant. Results suggest that relationships between BE and PA in low-and-middle income countries may be context-specific, and may differ markedly from higher income countries. Findings have public health implications for India suggesting that caution should be taken when translating evidence across countries.

Authors: 
Deepti Adlakha, J. Aaron Hipp, Ross C. Brownson, Amy A. Eyler, Carolyn K. Lesorogol, Ramesh Raghavan
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Urban density, diversity and design: Is more always better for walking? A study from Hong Kong

Date: 
10/01/2017
Description: 

Lu Y, Xiao Y, & Ye Y. (20107). Urban density, diversity and design: Is more always better for walking? A study from Hong Kong. Prev Med. 103(Suppl), S99-S103.

Abstract: 

Many cities in China have undergone rapid urbanization and are experiencing a decline in residents' physical activity levels. Previous studies have reported inconsistent findings on the association between 3D's (density, diversity, design) and walking behavior, and few studies have been conducted in China. The aim of this study was to identify the association between objectively measured 3D's and different domains of walking (transport vs. leisure) in Hong Kong, China. A survey was conducted in 2014 to collect walking data and relevant individual data from 1078 participants aged 18–65. The participants were randomly selected from 36 Hong Kong housing estates with different built environment and neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES). Built environment factors—population design, land-use mix and street intersection density—were assessed using a geographic information system. Multi-level regression was used to explore the associations between walking behavior and built environment factors, while adjusting for covariates. Two out the three D's—land-use mix and street connectivity—are not significantly related to any domains of walking. Furthermore, the third D, population density, is only positively related to walking for transport and walking for leisure in the lower range of density, while is negatively related to walking for leisure in the higher range of density. The findings suggest that the association between original 3D's and walking may vary in different urban contexts. The policy or planning strategy—using three D's to promote physical activity—may be ineffective or even counterproductive in large and already dense cities in China.

Authors: 
Yi Lu, Yang Xiao, Yu Ye
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Equity in Active Living for People with Disabilities: Less Talk and More Action

Date: 
02/01/2017
Description: 

Rimmer, J.H. (2017). Equity in Active Living for People with Disabilities: Less Talk and More Action. Prev Med. 95(Suppl), S154-S156.

Authors: 
JH Rimmer
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Pushing Policy that Promotes Equity in Active Living - From the Outside and From the Inside

Description: 

Thomas, I. (2017). Pushing Policy that Promotes Equity in Active Living - From the Outside and From the Inside. Prev Med. 95(Suppl), S148-S150.

Date: 
02/01/2017
Abstract: 

This article tells two success stories in which policies were changed to increase equity in active living, and identifies the keys to success in each case.

Authors: 
I Thomas
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Quantifying Bicycle Network Connectivity

Description: 

Lowry, M. & Hadden Loh, T. (2017). Quantifying Bicycle Network Connectivity. Prev Med. 95(Suppl), S134-S140.

Date: 
02/01/2017
Abstract: 

The intent of this study was to compare bicycle network connectivity for different types of bicyclists and different neighborhoods. Connectivity was defined as the ability to reach important destinations, such as grocery stores, banks, and elementary schools, via pathways or roads with low vehicle volumes and low speed limits. The analysis was conducted for 28 neighborhoods in Seattle, Washington under existing conditions and for a proposed bicycle master plan, which when complete will provide over 700 new bicycle facilities, including protected bike lanes, neighborhood greenways, and multi-use trails. The results showed different levels of connectivity across neighborhoods and for different types of bicyclists. Certain projects were shown to improve connectivity differently for confident and non-confident bicyclists. The analysis showed a positive correlation between connectivity and observed utilitarian bicycle trips. To improve connectivity for the majority of bicyclists, planners and policy-makers should provide bicycle facilities that allow immediate, low-stress access to the street network, such as neighborhood greenways. The analysis also suggests that policies and programs that build confidence for bicycling could greatly increase connectivity.

Authors: 
M Lowry & T Hadden Loh
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Pedestrian-Oriented Zoning is Associated with Reduced Income and Poverty Disparities in Adult Active Travel to Work, United States

Description: 

Chriqui, J.F., Leider, J., Thrun, E., Nicholson, L.M., & Slater, S.J. (2017). Pedestrian-Oriented Zoning is Associated with Reduced Income and Poverty Disparities in Adult Active Travel to Work, United States. Prev Med. 95(Suppl), S126-S133.

Date: 
02/01/2017
Abstract: 

Active travel to work can provide additional minutes of daily physical activity. While the literature points to the relationship between zoning, equity and socioeconomic status, and physical activity, no study has quantitatively explored these connections. This study examined whether zoning may help to moderate any income and poverty inequities in active travel and taking public transit to work. Research was conducted between May 2012 and June 2015. Zoning data were compiled for 3914 jurisdictions covering 45.45% of the U.S. population located in 471 of the most populous U.S. counties and 2 consolidated cities located in 48 states and the District of Columbia. (Sensitivity analyses also captured unincorporated areas which, with the municipalities, collectively covered ~72% of the U.S. population.) Zoning codes were obtained and evaluated to assess the pedestrian-orientation of the zoning codes. Public transit use, active travel to work, median household income, and poverty data were obtained for all study jurisdictions from the 2010–2014 American Community Survey estimates. Associations were examined through multivariate regression models, controlling for community sociodemographics, clustered on county, with robust standard errors. We found that certain pedestrian-oriented zoning provisions (e.g., crosswalks, bike-pedestrian connectivity, street connectivity, bike lanes, bike parking, and more zoning provisions) were associated with reduced income and/or poverty disparities in rates of public transit use and active travel to work. Findings from this study can help to inform cross-sectoral collaborations between the public health, planning, and transportation fields regarding zoning for pedestrian-orientation and active travel.

Authors: 
JF Chriqui, J Leider, E Thrun, LM Nicholson, & SJ Slater
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Associations Between Active Living-Oriented Zoning and No Adult Leisure-Time Physical Activity in the U.S.

Date: 
02/01/2017
Description: 

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.

Abstract: 

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.

Authors: 
J Leider, JF Chriqui, & E Thrun
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A Longitudinal Examination of Improved Access on Park Use and Physical Activity in a Low-Income and Majority African American Neighborhood Park

Date: 
02/01/2017
Description: 

Schultz, C.L., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Sayers, S.P., Thombs, L.A., & Thomas, I.M. (2017). A Longitudinal Examination of Improved Access on Park Use and Physical Activity in a Low-Income and Majority African American Neighborhood Park. Prev Med. 95(Suppl), S95-S100.

Abstract: 

This study sought to evaluate the impact of street crossing infrastructure modifications on park use and park-based physical activity in a low-income and African American community. A five-lane major highway created an access barrier between low-income housing units and the local neighborhood park in Columbia, Missouri. The installation of a signalized pedestrian crosswalk provided an opportunity to conduct a natural experiment to examine the effect of improved safe access upon community active living behaviors. Direct observation using SOPARC was collected prior to the crosswalk instillation in June 2012, after the crosswalk installation in June 2013 and again as a follow up in June 2014 during the same two-week period to assess changes in total park use and total energy expenditure by age, gender and race/ethnicity. Analysis of covariance models, controlling for temperature examined changes in total counts and total energy expenditure using pairwise Sidak post-hoc comparisons. Total park use increased from 2012 (n = 2080) to 2013 (n = 2275) and remained constant in 2014 (n = 2276). However, despite increases in safe access and overall park use, there was a significant decrease in total energy expenditure following the installation of the crosswalk that was sustained in 2014. This study shows that increasing safe access to parks primarily positively influences park use but not park-based physical activity. While improved safe access is encouraging greater park use, there is a need for future research to examine additional factors such as social support, programming and environmental changes to engage community members in park-based physical activity.

Authors: 
CL Schultz, SA Wilhelm Stanis, SP Sayers, LA Thombs, & IM Thomas
Location by State: 

Measuring Policy and Related Effects of a Health Impact Assessment Related to Connectivity

Description: 

Bias, T.K. & Abildso, C.G. (2017). Measuring Policy and Related Effects of a Health Impact Assessment Related to Connectivity. Prev Med. 95(Suppl), S92-S94.

Date: 
02/01/2017
Abstract: 

Health Impact Assessments are an important tool to help policymakers perceive the potential positive and negative contributions of decisions to public health. While they have been increasingly used in the United States, studies have not examined intermediate effects. Using key stakeholder interviews, this manuscript examines policy outcomes and other related effects of the HIA 21 months after completing a Health Impact Assessment Report around connectivity policy. Further, it reflects on the measurement of these effects as part of the monitoring and evaluation stage of the Health Impact Assessment process.

Authors: 
TK Bias & CG Abildso
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The 2016 Active Living Research Conference: Equity in Active Living

Date: 
02/01/2017
Description: 

Keith, N.R., Baskin, M.L., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., & Sallis, J.F. (2017). The 2016 Active Living Research Conference: Equity in Active Living. Prev Med. 95(Suppl), S1-S3.

Authors: 
NR Keith, ML Baskin, SA Wilhelm Stanis, & JF Sallis
Location by State: 

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