Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Prev Med. 2014 Dec;69:80-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.08.027. Epub 2014 Sep 6.

The built environment and utilitarian walking in small U.S. towns.

Author information

1
Stephenson Cancer Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA. Electronic address: mark-doescher@ouhsc.edu.
2
Landscape Architecture Urban Planning, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA.
3
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, NH, USA.
4
Urban Form Lab, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
5
WWAMI Rural Health Research Center, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
6
Stephenson Cancer Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
7
Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The role of the built environment on walking in rural United States (U.S.) locations is not well characterized. We examined self-reported and measured built environment correlates of walking for utilitarian purposes among adult residents of small rural towns.

METHODS:

In 2011-12, we collected telephone survey and geographic data from 2152 adults in 9 small towns from three U.S. regions. We performed mixed-effects logistic regression modeling to examine relationships between built environment measures and utilitarian walking ("any" versus "none"; "high" [≥150min per week] versus "low" [<150min per week]) to retail, employment and public transit destinations.

RESULTS:

Walking levels were lower than those reported for populations living in larger metropolitan areas. Environmental factors significantly (p<0.05) associated with higher odds of utilitarian walking in both models included self-reported presence of crosswalks and pedestrian signals and availability of park/natural recreational areas in the neighborhood, and also objectively measured manufacturing land use.

CONCLUSIONS:

Environmental factors associated with utilitarian walking in cities and suburbs were important in small rural towns. Moreover, manufacturing land use was associated with utilitarian walking. Modifying the built environment of small towns could lead to increased walking in a sizeable segment of the U.S. population.

KEYWORDS:

Exercise/physical activity; Health promotion; Physical environment; Prevention; Rural health; Social environment; Walking

PMID:
25199732
PMCID:
PMC4312190
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.08.027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center