A Walk (or Cycle) to the Park

Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.53). 10/2009; 37(4):285-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.06.006
Source: PubMed


Building on known associations between active commuting and reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, this study examines active transit to neighborhood amenities and differences between walking and cycling for transportation.
Year-20 data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study (3549 black and white adults aged 38-50 years in 2005-2006) were analyzed in 2008-2009. Sociodemographic correlates of transportation mode (car-only, walk-only, any cycling, other) to neighborhood amenities were examined in multivariable multinomial logistic models. Gender-stratified multivariable linear or multinomial regression models compared CVD risk factors across transit modes.
Active transit was most common to parks and public transit stops; walking was more common than cycling. Among those who used each amenity, active transit (walk-only and any cycling versus car-only transit) was more common in men and those with no live-in partner and less than full-time employment (significant ORs [95% CI] ranging from 1.56 [1.08, 2.27] to 4.54 [1.70, 12.14]), and less common in those with children. Active transit to any neighborhood amenity was associated with more favorable BMI, waist circumference, and fitness (largest coefficient [95% CI] -1.68 [-2.81, -0.55] for BMI, -3.41 [-5.71, -1.11] for waist circumference [cm], and 36.65 [17.99, 55.31] for treadmill test duration [seconds]). Only cycling was associated with lower lifetime CVD risk classification.
Active transit to neighborhood amenities was related to sociodemographics and CVD risk factors. Variation in health-related benefits by active transit mode, if validated in prospective studies, may have implications for transportation planning and research.

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Available from: Janne Boone-Heinonen, Apr 08, 2014
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    • "While recreational physical activity decreased in all groups over the year, there was no evidence that this decrease was greater in those whose active travel had increased. Previous studies have shown that adults do not appear to participate in active travel to account for their lack of recreational physical activity [12,13]. Moreover there is some evidence to suggest that adults who walk or cycle as a means of transport may actually participate in more recreational physical activity [14]. "
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