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J Environ Health. 2012 Mar;74(7):8-15; quiz 42.

Sneakers and spokes: an assessment of the walkability and bikeability of U.S. postsecondary institutions.

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Department of Nutrition Science and Dietetics, College of Human Ecology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-3240, USA.


The purpose of the study described in this article was to assess the walkability and bikeability of 15 U.S. postsecondary education campuses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's evidence-based Healthier Worksite Initiative Walkability Audit was modified to rate campus walking and biking path segments for path safety, quality, and comfort. Universities (n = 13) assessed an average of 44 path segments, which earned a mean score of 72.71 +/- 10.77 SD (possible range 0 to 100). Postsecondary technical schools (n = 2) assessed 20 path segments, which received an average score of 76.56 +/- 13.15. About 70% of path segments received a grade A or B, but almost 1 in 10 received a failing or poor support score for walking and biking. Nearly half or more campus environments scored significantly below an acceptable score on many path safety and quality criteria. Postsecondary education campuses that are supportive of walking and biking offer numerous benefits to the environment and people. Findings from environmental assessments like the data reported here can provide valuable input to campus planners.

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