Archives: Physical activity

 

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
Relevance: medium-high

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.

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Humpel 2002 - "Environmental Factors Associated with Adults' Participation in Physical Activity: A Review"

Humpel, Nancy; Owen, Neville; Leslie, Eva.
"Environmental Factors Associated with Adults' Participation in Physical Activity: A Review"
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
May 2002; vol.22, n.3; pp.188-199
On the Web
Relevance: medium-low

The authors reviewed 19 studies, finding that "accessibility, opportunities, and aesthetic attributes had significant associations with physical activities. Weather and safety showed less-strong relationships." Several of the studies focused on excercise facilities and equipments, but others looked at neighborhood attributes.

 

Owen 2004 - "Understanding the Environmental Influences on Walking: Review and Research Agenda"

Owen, Neville; Humpel, Nancy; et al.
"Understanding the Environmental Influences on Walking: Review and Research Agenda"
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
July 2004; vol.27, n.1; pp.67-76.
On the Web
Relevance: medium

The authors review eighteen studies and conclude that the early evidence is promising.  The studies show that aesthetic attributes, convenience of walking facilities (sidewalks, trails), accessibility of destinations, and perceptions about traffic are associated with utilitarian walking.  However, better theoretical models and more studies, especially ones that examine a causal relationship, are needed.

 

Ewing 2003 - "Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Physical Activity, Obesity, and Mortality"

Ewing, Reid; Schmid, Tom, et al
"Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Physical Activity, Obesity, and Mortality"
American Journal of Health Promotion
September/October 2003; vol.18, n.1; pp.47-57
On the Web
Relevance: high

The authors estimated the impact of a county and metropolitan area sprawl index on obesity, physical activity, and related diseases. They found that the county  index significantly influenced the number of minutes spent in leisure-time walking, average BMI, obesity status, and prevalence of hypertension.

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WA Dept. of Health 2004 - "The Economic Cost of Physical Inactivity Among Washington State Adults"

Chenoweth & Associates, Inc.
"The Economic Cost of Physical Inactivity Among Washington State Adults"
Washington State Department of Health
February 2004
On the Web (pdf)
Relevance: high

Chenoweth and Associates estimate the direct costs of physical inactivity in Washington to be $4.8 billion in 2002:

  • $197.8 million for direct medical care
  • $9.2 million for worker's compensation
  • $4600 million for lost productivity

They also calculate the indirect costs at $593 million for medical care and $36.8 million for worker's compensation, bringing the total cost (direct + indirect) to $5.46 billion. Per Washington resident, this total cost of physical inactivity was $899 in 2002; per Washington adult, the cost was $1,232.

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Frank 2001 - "The Built Environment and Human Activity Patterns"

Frank, Lawrence D; Englke, Peter O
"The Built Environment and Human Activity Patterns: Exploring the Impacts of Urban Form on Public Health"
Journal of Planning Literature
November 2001; v.17, n.2; pp.202-218
On the Web
Relevance: low

Frank and Engelke reviews current literature to explore how physical activity affects public health and how urban form affects physical activity. The article is a good introduction to the subject with references to many useful studies (also reviewed in this  lit review), but a few of which are outdated.

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Berrigan 1998 - "The Association Between Urban Form and Physical Activity in US Adults"

Berrigan, David; Troiano, Richard
"The Association Between Urban Form and Physical Activity in US Adults"
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
2002; v.23, n.2S; pp.74-79
On the Web
Relevance: medium

Using data from NHANES III, the authors found that people who lived in houses built before 1946 or between 1946 and 1973 were more likely to walk regularly than were people who lived in houses built after 1973. Those living in homes built before 1946 were 1.43 times more likely and those in homes built 1946-1973 were 1.36 times more likely to walk at least a mile at least 20 times a month than were those living in homes built after 1973.

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B.C Health Planning 2004 - "The Cost of Physical Inactivity in British Columbia"

Colman, Ronald; Walker, Sally
"The Cost of Physical Inactivity in British Columbia"
B.C. Ministry of Health Planning
November 2004
On the Web (pdf)
Relevance: high

The authors use data from the Canadian Community Health Survey, the Economic Burden of Illness in Canada, and the literature to calculate the cost of physical inactivity in BC.  They estimate that physical inactivity costs the British Columbian health care system $211 million (2001CAN$) (1.8% of provincial health spendig) a year in direct costs.  They also estimate that indirect costs of productivity losses add up to $362 million a year due to premature death and disability, leading to a total cost of $573 million.  5% (1400) of all premature deaths are due to physical inactivity. This results in more than 4,380 potential years of life lost annually.

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Katzmarzyk 2000 - "The Economic Burden of Physical Inactivity in Canada"

Katzmarzyk, Peter T; Gledhill, Norman; Shephard, Roy J.
"The Economic Burden of Physical Inactivity in Canada"
Canadian Medical Association Journal
November 28, 2002; v.163, n.11; 1435-1440
On the Web
Relevance: high

The authors reviewed the literature to calculate the burden of physical inactivity in Canada. They conclude that physical inactivity costs Canada about $2.1 billion, or 2.5% of total direct health costs.  The also calculate the about 21,000 lives were lost prematurely in 1995 and that a 10% reduction in inactivity could save Canada $150 million a year.

 

Pratt 2000 - "Higher Direct Medical Costs Associated with Physical Inactivity"

Pratt, Michael; Macera, Caroline A; Wang, Guijing
"Higher Direct Medical Costs Associated with Physical Inactivity"
The Physician and Sportsmedicine
October 2000; v.28, n.10; pp.63-70
On the Web
Relevance: medium

Using the 1987 National Medical Expenditures Survey, the authors estimate the costs of physical activity in the US. They conclude:

"The mean net annual benefit of physical activity [among people with no physical limitations] was $330 per person in 1987 dollars.  Our results suggest that increasing participation in regular moderate physical activity among the more than 88 million inactive Americans over the age of 15 might reduce annual national medical costs by as much as $29.2 billion in 1987 dollars--$76.6 billion in 2000 dollars."

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