Many Pathways from Land Use to Health: Associations between Neighborhood Walkability and Active Transportation, Body Mass Index, and Air Quality

Previous studies have shown that low-density land development and disconnected street networks are positively associated with automobile dependence and negatively associated with transit use and walking. These factors in turn appear to affect health by influencing emissions of air pollutants, physical activity and obesity. In the present study, the authors evaluated the association between a single index of walkability that incorporates land use mix, street connectivity, net residential density and retail floor area ratios, with health-related outcomes in King County, Washington. Results showed a 5% increase in walkability to be associated with a 32.1% increase in time spent in physically active travel, a 0.23-point reduction in body mass index, 6.5% fewer vehicle miles traveled, 5.6% fewer grams of oxides of nitrogen emitted, and 5.5% fewer grams of volatile organic compounds emitted per capita. Although the actual amount of change in each outcome is modest, the combined effects on public health could be considerable.

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  • Authors:
    • Frank, Lawrence D
    • Sallis, James F
    • Conway, Terry L
    • Chapman, James E
    • Saelens, Brian E
    • Bachman, William
  • Publication Date: 2006


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01020055
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 12 2006 12:14AM