King 2003 - "The Relationship Between Convenience of Destinations and Walking Levels in Older Women"

King, Wendy C.; Brach, Jennifer S.; et al.
"The Relationship Between Convenience of Destinations and Walking Levels in Older Women"
American Journal of Health Promotion
Sept-Oct 2003; vol.18, n.1; pp.74-82
On the Web
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Using a small sample (149) of older women, the authors found that living within a 20 minute walk of a park; biking or walking trail; or a department, discount, or hardware store was significantly related to walking more, as objectively measured by pedometer readings.  Walking was also associated with living near more destinations and with a better neighborhood rating for walking.

Women who lived within a 20-minute walk of two or more destinations walked more than than women who lived near one or no destinations (5714 vs. 3281 vs. 2745 steps/day). They also reported expending more energy walking (623 vs. 139 vs. 52 kcal/week) and in total activity (1448 vs. 241 kcal/wk).

Women who rated their neighborhoods excellent walked nearly 1.9 times more than women who rated their neighborhoods poor (6349 vs. 3376 steps/day). They also reported expending more energy waling and in total activity. The neighborhood rating was also highly related to the number of destinations.

Caveats: small study; most women rated their neighborhoods good or excellent; "walking distance" defined by study participants, so may not be appropriate for other populations; sample initially designed for a different purpose.

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