Advertisement

Walk Score® and Transit Score® and Walking in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

      Background

      Walk Score® and Transit Score® are open-source measures of the neighborhood built environment to support walking (“walkability”) and access to transportation.

      Purpose

      To investigate associations of Street Smart Walk Score and Transit Score with self-reported transport and leisure walking using data from a large multicity and diverse population-based sample of adults.

      Methods

      Data from a sample of 4552 residents of Baltimore MD, Chicago IL, Forsyth County NC, Los Angeles CA, New York NY, and St. Paul MN from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (2010–2012) were linked to Walk Score and Transit Score (collected in 2012). Logistic and linear regression models estimated ORs of not walking and mean differences in minutes walked, respectively, associated with continuous and categoric Walk Score and Transit Score. All analyses were conducted in 2012.

      Results

      After adjustment for site, key sociodemographic, and health variables, a higher Walk Score was associated with lower odds of not walking for transport and more minutes/week of transport walking. Compared to those in a “walker’s paradise,” lower categories of Walk Score were associated with a linear increase in odds of not transport walking and a decline in minutes of leisure walking. An increase in Transit Score was associated with lower odds of not transport walking or leisure walking, and additional minutes/week of leisure walking.

      Conclusions

      Walk Score and Transit Score appear to be useful as measures of walkability in analyses of neighborhood effects.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to American Journal of Preventive Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Handy S.L.
        • Boarnet M.G.
        • Ewing R.
        • Killingsworth R.E.
        How the built environment affects physical activity: views from urban planning.
        Am J Prev Med. 2002; 23: 64-73
        • Brownson R.C.
        • Hoehner C.M.
        • Day K.
        • Forsyth A.
        • Sallis J.F.
        Measuring the built environment for physical activity: state of the science.
        Am J Prev Med. 2009; 36: S99
        • Rutt C.D.
        • Coleman K.J.
        The impact of the built environment on walking as a leisure-time activity along the U.S./Mexico border.
        J Phys Act Health. 2005; 2: 257-271
        • Forsyth A.
        • Oakes J.M.
        • Schmitz K.H.
        • Hearst M.
        Does residential density increase walking and other physical activity?.
        Urban Stud. 2007; 44: 679-697
        • Rundle A.
        • Diez Roux A.V.
        • Freeman L.M.
        • Miller D.
        • Neckerman K.M.
        • Weiss C.C.
        The urban built environment and obesity in New York City: a multilevel analysis.
        Am J Health Promot. 2007; 21: 326-334
        • Saelens B.E.
        • Sallis J.F.
        • Frank L.D.
        Environmental correlates of walking and cycling: findings from the transportation, urban design, and planning literatures.
        Ann Behav Med. 2003; 25: 80-91
        • Matthews S.A.
        • Moudon A.V.
        • Daniel M.
        • Work group II
        Using Geographic Information Systems for enhancing research relevant to policy on diet, physical activity, and weight.
        Am J Prev Med. 2009; 36: S171-S176
        • Vargo J.
        • Stone B.
        • Glanz K.
        Google walkability: a new tool for local planning and public health research?.
        J Phys Act Health. 2012; 9: 689
      1. Dill J, ed. Measuring network connectivity for bicycling and walking. 2004.

        • Oakes J.M.
        • Forsyth A.
        • Schmitz K.
        The effects of neighborhood density and street connectivity on walking behavior: the Twin Cities walking study.
        Epidemiol Perspect Innov. 2007; 4: 16
        • Cervero R.
        • Duncan M.
        Walking, bicycling, and urban landscapes: evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area.
        Am J Public Health. 2003; 93: 1478-1483
        • Berrigan D.
        • Pickle L.W.
        • Dill J.
        Associations between street connectivity and active transportation.
        Int J Health Geogr. 2010; 9: 20
        • Cerin E.
        • Leslie E.
        • Toit L.
        • Owen N.
        • Frank L.D.
        Destinations that matter: associations with walking for transport.
        Health Place. 2007; 13: 713-724
        • McConville M.E.
        • Rodríguez D.A.
        • Clifton K.
        • Cho G.
        • Fleischhacker S.
        Disaggregate land uses and walking.
        Am J Prev Med. 2011; 40: 25-32
      2. Front Seat Management L. Transit Score® methodology. 2012. www.walkscore.com/transit-score-methodology.shtml.

        • Duncan D.T.
        • Aldstadt J.
        • Whalen J.
        • Melly S.J.
        • Gortmaker S.L.
        Validation of Walk Score® for estimating neighborhood walkability: an analysis of four U.S. metropolitan areas.
        Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011; 8: 4160-4179
        • Carr L.J.
        • Dunsiger S.I.
        • Marcus B.H.
        Walk Score™ as a global estimate of neighborhood walkability.
        Am J Prev Med. 2010; 39: 460-463
        • Carr L.J.
        • Dunsiger S.I.
        • Marcus B.H.
        Validation of Walk Score for estimating access to walkable amenities.
        Br J Sports Med. 2011; 45: 1144-1148
        • Kirtland K.A.
        • Porter D.E.
        • Addy C.L.
        • et al.
        Environmental measures of physical activity supports: perception versus reality.
        Am J Prev Med. 2003; 24: 323-331
        • Jones L.I.
        Investigating neighborhood walkability and its association with physical activity levels and body composition of a sample of Maryland adolescent girls.
        University of Maryland, College Park MD2010
        • Duncan D.T.
        • Aldstadt J.
        • Whalen J.
        • Melly S.J.
        Validation of Walk Scores and Transit Scores for estimating neighborhood walkability and transit availability: a small-area analysis.
        GeoJournal. 2012; : 1-10
        • Takahashi P.Y.
        • Baker M.A.
        • Cha S.
        • Targonski P.V.
        A cross-sectional survey of the relationship between walking, biking, and the built environment for adults aged over 70 years.
        Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2012; 5: 35
        • Manaugh K.
        • El-Geneidy A.
        Validating walkability indices: how do different households respond to the walkability of their neighborhood?.
        Transp Res Part D Trans Environ. 2011; 16: 309-315
        • Jilcott Pitts S.B.
        • McGuirt J.T.
        • Carr L.J.
        • Wu Q.
        • Keyserling T.C.
        Associations between body mass index, shopping behaviors, amenity density, and characteristics of the neighborhood food environment among female adult Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants in eastern North Carolina.
        Ecol Food Nutr. 2012; 51: 526-541
        • Bild D.E.
        • Bluemke D.A.
        • Burke G.L.
        • et al.
        Multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis: objectives and design.
        Am J Epidemiol. 2002; 156: 871-881
      3. Front Seat Management, LLC. Walk Score Methodology. 2011. www.walkscore.com/professional/methodology.php.

      4. Front Seat Management, LLC. What is walkability: How Walk Score works. 2012. www.walkscore.com/live-more/.

      5. Front Seat Management, LLC. Transit Score. 2012. www.walkscore.com/transit/.

        • Ainsworth B.E.
        • Irwin M.L.
        • Addy C.L.
        • Whitt M.C.
        • Stolarczyk L.M.
        Moderate physical activity patterns of minority women: the Cross-Cultural Activity Participation Study.
        J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 1999; 8: 805-813
        • LaMonte M.J.
        • Durstine J.L.
        • Addy C.L.
        • Irwin M.L.
        • Ainsworth B.E.
        Physical activity, physical fitness, and Framingham 10-year risk score: the cross-cultural activity participation study.
        J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2001; 21: 63-70
        • Henderson K.A.
        • Ainsworth B.E.
        A synthesis of perceptions about physical activity among older African American and American Indian women.
        Am J Public Health. 2003; 93: 313-317
      6. Ainsworth B.L.M. Drowatzky K. Evaluation of the CAPS typical week physical activity survey (TWPAS) among minority women. Proceedings of the Community Prevention Research in Women's Health Conference; Oct 26–27. NIH, Bethesda MD2000
        • Besser L.M.
        • Dannenberg A.L.
        Walking to public transit: steps to help meet physical activity recommendations.
        Am J Prev Med. 2005; 29: 273-280
        • Rodríguez D.A.
        • Aytur S.
        • Forsyth A.
        • Oakes J.M.
        • Clifton K.J.
        Relation of modifiable neighborhood attributes to walking.
        Prev Med. 2008; 47: 260
        • Cervero R.
        Walk-and-ride: factors influencing pedestrian access to transit.
        J Pub Transport. 2001; 7 (3)
        • Rodríguez D.A.
        • Evenson K.R.
        • Diez Roux A.V.
        • Brines S.J.
        Land use, residential density, and walking: the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis.
        Am J Prev Med. 2009; 37: 397-404
        • Sallis J.F.
        • Saelens B.E.
        • Frank L.D.
        • et al.
        Neighborhood built environment and income: examining multiple health outcomes.
        Soc Sci Med. 2009; 68: 1285-1293
        • Frank L.D.
        • Sallis J.F.
        • Conway T.L.
        • Chapman J.E.
        • Saelens B.E.
        • Bachman W.
        Many pathways from land use to health: associations between neighborhood walkability and active transportation, body mass index, and air quality.
        J Am Plann Assoc. 2006; 72: 75-87
        • Frank L.D.
        • Schmid T.L.
        • Sallis J.F.
        • Chapman J.
        • Saelens B.E.
        Linking objectively measured physical activity with objectively measured urban form: findings from SMARTRAQ.
        Am J Prev Med. 2005; 28: 117-125
        • Ewing R.
        • Schmid T.
        • Killingsworth R.
        • Zlot A.
        • Raudenbush S.
        Relationship between urban sprawl and physical activity, obesity, and morbidity.
        Am J Health Promot. 2003; 18: 47-57