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Am J Public Health. 2011 Dec;101 Suppl 1:S310-7. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300067. Epub 2011 May 6.

Walking and cycling in the United States, 2001-2009: evidence from the National Household Travel Surveys.

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  • 1Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess changes in walking and cycling in the United States between 2001 and 2009.

METHODS:

The 2001 and 2009 National Household Travel Surveys were used to compute the frequency, duration, and distance of walking and cycling per capita. The population-weighted person and trip files were merged to calculate the prevalence of any walking and cycling and of walking and cycling at least 30 minutes per day.

RESULTS:

The average American made 17 more walk trips in 2009 than in 2001, covering 9 more miles per year, compared with only 2 more bike trips, and 5 more miles cycling. At the population level, the prevalence of "any walking" remained unchanged (about 18%), whereas walking at least 30 minutes per day increased from 7.2% to 8.0%. The prevalence of "any cycling" and cycling 30 minutes per day remained unchanged (1.7% and 0.9%, respectively). Active travel declined for women, children, and seniors, but increased among men, the middle aged, employed, well-educated, and persons without a car.

CONCLUSIONS:

Walking increased slightly, whereas cycling levels stagnated, and the overall prevalence of active travel remained low. Improved infrastructure for walking and cycling must be combined with programs to encourage active travel among more groups, especially children, seniors, and women.

PMID:
21551387
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3222478
Free PMC Article
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