Walking Associated With Public Transit: Moving Toward Increased Physical Activity in the United States

Amy L. Freeland is with the Epidemic Intelligence Service and the National Center for Environmental Health, Healthy Community Design Initiative, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA. Shailendra N. Banerjee is with the Office of Director, National Center for Environmental Health, Emergency and Environmental Health Services, CDC. Andrew L. Dannenberg and Arthur M. Wendel are with the National Center for Environmental Health, Healthy Community Design Initiative, CDC.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.23). 01/2013; 103(3). DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300912
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Objectives. We assessed changes in transit-associated walking in the United States from 2001 to 2009 and documented their importance to public health. Methods. We examined transit walk times using the National Household Travel Survey, a telephone survey administered by the US Department of Transportation to examine travel behavior in the United States. Results. People are more likely to transit walk if they are from lower income households, are non-White, and live in large urban areas with access to rail systems. Transit walkers in large urban areas with a rail system were 72% more likely to transit walk 30 minutes or more per day than were those without a rail system. From 2001 to 2009, the estimated number of transit walkers rose from 7.5 million to 9.6 million (a 28% increase); those whose transit-associated walking time was 30 minutes or more increased from approximately 2.6 million to 3.4 million (a 31% increase). Conclusions. Transit walking contributes to meeting physical activity recommendations. Study results may contribute to transportation-related health impact assessment studies evaluating the impact of proposed transit systems on physical activity, potentially influencing transportation planning decisions. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print January 17, 2013: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300912).

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