Understanding environmental influences on walking - Review and research agenda

Owen, Neville, Humpel, Nancy, Leslie, Eva, Bauman, Adrian and Sallis, James F. 2004, Understanding environmental influences on walking - Review and research agenda, American journal of preventive medicine, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 67-76, doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2004.03.006.

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Title Understanding environmental influences on walking - Review and research agenda
Author(s) Owen, Neville
Humpel, Nancy
Leslie, Eva
Bauman, Adrian
Sallis, James F.
Journal name American journal of preventive medicine
Volume number 27
Issue number 1
Start page 67
End page 76
Publisher Elsevier Inc.
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2004-07
ISSN 0749-3797
Summary Background
Understanding how environmental attributes can influence particular physical activity behaviors is a public health research priority. Walking is the most common physical activity behavior of adults; environmental innovations may be able to influence rates of participation.

Review of studies on relationships of objectively assessed and perceived environmental attributes with walking. Associations with environmental attributes were examined separately for exercise and recreational walking, walking to get to and from places, and total walking.

Eighteen studies were identified. Aesthetic attributes, convenience of facilities for walking (sidewalks, trails); accessibility of destinations (stores, park, beach); and perceptions about traffic and busy roads were found to be associated with walking for particular purposes. Attributes associated with walking for exercise were different from those associated with walking to get to and from places.


While few studies have examined specific environment–walking relationships, early evidence is promising. Key elements of the research agenda are developing reliable and valid measures of environmental attributes and walking behaviors, determining whether environment–behavior relationships are causal, and developing theoretical models that account for environmental influences and their interactions with other determinants.
Notes Available online 19 June 2004.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.amepre.2004.03.006
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30009263

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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