Sidewalk Walkability and Physical Activity – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Sidewalk Walkability and Physical Activity

Andrew Hoover

Andrew Hoover

Pronouns: he/him

Research Mentor(s): Natalie Colabianchi, Associate Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Applied Exercise Science, School of Kinesiology
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 3 (1pm-1:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 13
Presenter: 7

Event Link


Relevance: Sidewalk walkability may affect how one interacts with their community and can have significant impacts on their level of physical activity. Objectives: This study examines the relationship between sidewalk presence, continuity, and condition, and level of physical activity among adults in the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke study. Methods: Sidewalk characteristics were measured through a Google Earth auditing tool, where auditors viewed a participant’s living location and answered questions relating to sidewalk presence, continuity, and condition on the participant’s side of the street and the side opposite of the participant. Data on level of physical activity was collected from telephone interviews. Chi-square tests of association were estimated for each sidewalk measure and physical activity in a sample of 1,182 participants. Results: Participants reported their frequency of physical activity as none (36%), one to three times per week (35%) or more than three times per week (30%). Fewer than half of the streets had sidewalks (44% participant side; 44% opposite side). Nearly three-quarters of the sidewalks were continuous, and most sidewalks (69%) were well-maintained, on both sides of the street. None of the associations between physical activity and the sidewalk walkability measures were significant. Conclusion: The results of this study have several implications. The types of physical activities participants engaged in, that had them break a sweat, may not have taken place in their neighborhood. Future research should explore how other forms of physical activity are impacted by various aspects of the built and social environment.

Authors: Andrew Hoover, Ian Lang, Cathy Antonakos, Natalie Colabianchi
Research Method: Data Collection and Analysis

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