Walking Associated With Public Transit: Moving Toward Increased Physical Activity in the United States
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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ABSTRACT: Background Unlike leisure time physical activity, knowledge of the socioeconomic determinants of active transport is limited, research on this topic has produced mixed and inconsistent findings, and it remains unknown if peoples¿ engagement in active transport declines as they age. This longitudinal study examined relationships between neighbourhood disadvantage, individual-level socioeconomic position and walking for transport (WfT) during mid- and early old-age (40 ¿ 70 years). Three questions were addressed: (i) which socioeconomic groups walk for transport, (ii) does the amount of walking change over time as people age, and (iii) is the change socioeconomically patterned?Methods The data come from the HABITAT study of physical activity, a bi-annual multilevel longitudinal survey of 11,036 residents of 200 neighbourhoods in Brisbane, Australia. At each wave (2007, 2009 and 2011) respondents estimated the duration (minutes) of WfT in the previous 7 days. Neighbourhood disadvantage was measured using a census-derived index comprising 17 different socioeconomic components, and individual-level socioeconomic position was measured using education, occupation, and household income. The data were analysed using multilevel mixed-effects logistic and linear regression.ResultsThe odds of being defined as a `never walker¿ were significantly lower for residents of disadvantaged neighbourhoods, but significantly higher for the less educated, blue collar employees, and members of lower income households. WfT declined significantly over time as people aged and the declines were more precipitous for older persons. Average minutes of WfT declined for all neighbourhoods and most socioeconomic groups; however, the declines were significantly steeper for the retired and members of low income households.Conclusions Designing age-friendly neighbourhoods might slow or delay age-related declines in WfT and should be a priority. Steeper declines in WfT among residents of low income households may reflect their poorer health status and the impact of adverse socioeconomic exposures over the life course. Each of these declines represents a significant challenge to public health advocates, urban designers, and planners in their attempts to keep people active and healthy in their later years of life.International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 12/2014; 11(1):151. DOI:10.1186/s12966-014-0151-7 · 3.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction Attributes of the built environment can influence active transportation, including use of public transportation. However, the relationship between perceptions of the built environment and use of public transportation deserves further attention. The objectives of this study were 1) to assess the relationship between personal characteristics and public transportation use with meeting national recommendations for moderate physical activity through walking for transportation and 2) to examine associations between personal and perceived environmental factors and frequency of public transportation use. Methods In 2012, we administered a mail-based survey to 772 adults in St Louis, Missouri, to assess perceptions of the built environment, physical activity, and transportation behaviors. The abbreviated International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to assess walking for transportation and use of public transportation. The Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale was used to examine perceptions of the built environment. Associations were assessed by using multinomial logistic regression. Results People who used public transportation at least once in the previous week were more likely to meet moderate physical activity recommendations by walking for transportation. Age and employment were significantly associated with public transportation use. Perceptions of high traffic speed and high crime were negatively associated with public transportation use. Conclusion Our results were consistent with previous research suggesting that public transportation use is related to walking for transportation. More importantly, our study suggests that perceptions of traffic speed and crime are related to frequency of public transportation use. Future interventions to encourage public transportation use should consider policy and planning decisions that reduce traffic speed and improve safety.Preventing chronic disease 07/2014; 11. DOI:10.5888/pcd11.140125 · 1.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: New transport infrastructure may help promote active travel, thereby contributing to increasing overall physical activity and population health gain. In 2011 a guided busway with a path for walking and cycling was opened in Cambridgeshire, UK. This paper investigates the predictors of walking, cycling and bus use on the busway.12/2014; 38. DOI:10.1016/j.jth.2014.10.006