Research Study Abstract

Cross Sectional Association between Spatially Measured Walking Bouts and Neighborhood Walkability

  • Published on April 8, 2016

Abstract: Walking is the most popular choice of aerobic physical activity to improve health among U.S. adults. Physical characteristics of the home neighborhood can facilitate or hinder walking. The purpose of this study was to quantify neighborhood walking, using objective methods and to examine the association between counts of walking bouts in the home neighborhood and neighborhood walkability. This was a cross-sectional study of 106 adults who wore accelerometers and GPS devices for two weeks. Walking was quantified within 1, 2, and 3 km Euclidean (straight-line) and network buffers around the geocoded home location. Walkability was estimated using a commercially available index. Walking bout counts increased with buffer size and were associated with walkability, regardless of buffer type or size (p < 0.001). Quantification of walking bouts within (and outside) of pre-defined neighborhood buffers of different sizes and types allowed for the specification of walking locations to better describe and elucidate walking behaviors. These data support the concept that neighborhood characteristics can influence walking among adults.


  • Hwang LD 1
  • Hurvitz PM 2
  • Duncan GE 3


  • 1

    Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

  • 2

    Department of Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

  • 3

    Nutrition & Exercise Physiology Program, Washington State University, Spokane, WA 99210, USA


International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health