Can Transit-Oriented Developments Help Achieve the Recommended Weekly Level of Physical Activity?

Modern lifestyles tend to promote sedentary living, putting urban and suburban populations at increased risks for onset of chronic conditions. The promotion of non-leisure physical activity has the potential to provide substantial health benefits. This study aims to describe travel behavior of residents in Transit-oriented developments (TODs) and its impacts on levels of physical activity through utilitarian trips (i.e., routine trips to school, work and grocery shopping). Data is drawn from a survey of residents living in seven geographically-dispersed North American TODs in 2013. Approximately 20% of survey respondents achieved weekly recommended levels of physical activity through their utilitarian trips. Trip frequency was an important factor in achieving recommended weekly physical activity levels; individuals with higher levels of public transport use were more likely to achieved recommended levels of physical activity. Telecommuting might be particularly detrimental to utilitarian physical activity and could reduce public health benefits of TODs, walking friendliness of the residential location had a positive effect on levels of physical activity. Affordability of public transport and good weather contingencies were factors associated with higher in the levels of physical activity. The preference for owning an automobile to do the things that one likes remained a widely held sentiment of survey respondents, decreasing levels of physical activity by 39%. To promote active lifestyles in TODs, governments should invest in infrastructure necessary to facilitate non-car trips especially during bad weather conditions.


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  • Accession Number: 01601985
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 6 2016 3:55PM