Workplace neighborhoods, walking, physical activity, weight status, and perceived health: Assessing the built environment

Ann Forsyth, J. Michael Oakes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent interest has focused on how the built environment in residential neighborhoods affects walking and other physical activity. The neighborhood around the workplace has been examined far less. This study explored the neighborhood around the workplace and its correlation with the amount of walking, level of physical activity, body mass index, and perceived health of those who (a) worked away from home (N = 446) and (b) were retired or unemployed (N = 207). Study participants were recruited from environmentally diverse residential neighborhoods in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, metropolitan area in 2004. Participants wore an accelerometcr, kept a travel diary, and answered a survey. The workplace neighborhood environments were measured with a geographic information system. In bivariatc assessments, many features of the workplace neighborhood environment were significantly, hut modestly, correlated with walking for travel, including density, street pattern, and land use (commercial, office, and residential). Fewer environmental features were correlated with total physical activity, a result confirmed in multivariate analyses. Although several workplace neighborhood environmental variahles were correlated with total walking, relevant to the field of transportation, the pattern of association with total physical activity was not as consistent or strong. Because many people spend a considerable amount of lime at work, more research is needed on this topic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
JournalTransportation Research Record
Volume2452
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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