Neighborhood street amenities such as sidewalk cafés, as well as fewer safety hazards may be associated with walking or active transportation, a study published in a supplement to the Annals of Behavioral Medicine reports.
A telephone survey administered in 2003 in New York City asked: “Over the past 30 days, have you walked or bicycled more than 10 blocks as part of getting to and from work, or school, or to do errands?” Individual and household characteristics were collected from a dataset of 8,034 individuals. Neighborhood characteristics including safety hazards (pedestrian-automobile fatalities and homicide rates); aesthetic amenities (presence of cafés, street tree density, and clean sidewalks); were evaluated to determine their associations with walking or bicycling.
- Sidewalk cafés had a positive association with the likelihood of active transport. The pedestrian-auto fatality rate had an unanticipated positive association with more frequent walking or bicycling.
Brisk walking or bicycle riding can help contribute to the recommended levels of physical activity among U.S. adults. The investment toward aesthetic amenities and reducing safety concerns may help increase modes of active transportation.
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