Residential or Activity Space Walkability: What Drives Transportation Physical Activity?
Nicholas Howell, University of TorontoShow Abstract
Steven Farber, University of Toronto
Michael Widener, University of Toronto
Gillian Booth, University of Toronto
The walkability an individual’s residential neighborhood is associated with their participation in transportation physical activity (TPA). Reported associations between walkability and physical activity, however, are highly variable. One explanation is that many studies only assess individuals’ home environments and do not account for other exposures, potentially causing bias.
University students (n=12152) attending schools in Toronto, Canada were sampled, reporting a one-day travel diary accounting for all trips taken over the previous 24 h. Transportation physical activity was defined as reporting any walking or cycling trips. Walkability (quintiles, Q5 highest, Q1 lowest) was assessed using a validated index shown to be associated with physical activity. Three definitions of individuals’ walkability exposure were used: (i) residential (neighborhood around individuals’ homes), (ii) full activity space (average of all locations visited), (iii) restricted activity space (average of all home, work, school locations visited). Logistic regression was used to assess the adjusted association between walkability and TPA.
Associations between walkability and TPA varied in magnitude across definitions, with residential walkability exhibiting the weakest association (Q5 vs. Q1 OR = 2.07 (95% CI: 1.70, 2.52)), compared with full (Q5 vs. Q1. OR = 6.54, (4.92, 8.84)) and restricted (Q5 vs. Q1 OR= 4.84, (3.76, 6.29)) activity spaces.
Conclusion< p > Activity space walkability showed the strongest association with TPA. Exposure misclassification may contribute to the variability in built environment & TPA relationships.
Activity Space-Based Measures of the Food Environment and Their Relationships to Food Purchasing Behaviors for Young Urban Adults in Canada
Michael Widener, University of TorontoShow Abstract
Leia Minaker, University of Waterloo
Tara Kamal Ahmadi, University of Toronto
Zachary Patterson, Concordia University
Jessica Reid, University of Waterloo
David Hammond, University of Waterloo
In this research, GPS and food purchasing data of approximately 450 young adult participants (16-30 years old), collected for one week across five Canadian cities, are used to explicitly address the links between activity patterns, the food retail environment, and food shopping behaviours for an understudied population. With the GPS data, a time-weighted kernel density estimate surface is used to generate a unique activity space-based food environment, with an emphasis on places where more time is spent, for each participant. Then, statistical models are computed to answer two primary questions: First, how do personal characteristics (e.g., age, employment), self-rated health, and city of residence relate to the number of food retailers accessible in young adults’ activity spaces? Second, how do the previous factors and an activity space-based food environment affect where young adults make food purchases? The results show that various personal characteristics (e.g. age, sex, being a household food shopper) and city of residence are significantly associated with different levels of exposure to various types of food retailers, as well as that food shopping behaviours are significantly associated with personal characteristics, self-reported health, and participants’ activity spaces.
An Examination of Children’s School Travel and Parent’s Nonmotorized Travel Decisions: A Focus on Active Travel
Ipek Sener, Texas A&M Transportation InstituteShow Abstract
Richard Lee, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Raghuprasad Sidharthan, University of Texas, Austin
This study analyzed the topic of children’s school travel decisions and parents’ non-motorized travel frequency in order to understand the determinants of these two household-level decisions that affect the overall physical activity levels of household members. Walking and biking to school can help school-age children achieve recommended daily physical activity levels. Similarly, parents who are physically active, whether through non-motorized utilitarian trips or trips for physical and recreational purposes, can improve their own health while influencing the decisions of their children. The 2009 National Household Travel Survey with the add-on sample for Texas was used for the model estimation. A multinomial logit model was estimated for the children’s school mode choice, and a Poisson count regression model was estimated for the parents’ non-motorized travel frequency (weekly). Findings strongly suggested that mothers’ concerns regarding traffic conditions in the neighborhood can discourage children’s active mode use. In contrast, fathers’ work flexibility seemed to facilitate more non-motorized school travel. Similarly, many factors were important in determining non-motorized trip frequency. A flexible work environment, particularly for the mothers, was observed to increase the overall trip frequency of parents. The results from this study corroborate the findings from several earlier studies while also indicating new factors not previously identified. The work done in this study can be extended in several directions. One particularly interesting avenue of future research is to model the two decisions in a joint model to identify the causal direction while accounting for unobserved factors.
Using Mobility Panel Data to Assess Maintenance of Health-Enhancing Levels of Physical Activity from Active Travel: Insights from Germany
Ralph Buehler, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityShow Abstract
Adrian Bauman, Sydney University
Christine Eisenmann, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Walking and cycling—active travel—can help adults achieve the World Health Organization’s recommended 150+ minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week. Most travel surveys are cross-sectional and only capture trips made during one specific day, thus making it difficult to assess the share of the population that achieves 150+ minutes of weekly active travel over time. Based on a nationally representative panel-survey of daily travel in Germany, this study assesses weekly minutes of active travel by adult respondents participating in the panel study over two consecutive years. In particular, the study examines determinants of maintenance of achieving 150+ minutes of weekly active travel in year 2 of panel participation for individuals who achieved 150+ minutes in year 1.
About half (48%) of respondents achieved 150+ minutes of active travel per week in their first year of panel participation. Of those, about three-quarters maintained 150+ minutes of active travel in year 2. Logistic regressions showed a greater likelihood for maintaining 150+ minutes of active travel in year 2 for individuals aged between 30 and 69, in households without cars, those not in the workforce, and in households with access to shopping destinations within 2km of the home.Individuals were more likely to maintain 150+ minutes of active travel in year 2, if in year 1 they used active modes for work or school commuting, used active travel for round trips (i.e. going for a walk or bike ride), and used all three non-automobile modes (walking, cycling, and public transport).
Enhancing Public Health Assessment by Incorporating Daily Activities in the Analysis of Population Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution
Maryam Shekarrizfard, University of TorontoShow Abstract
Laura Minet, University of Toronto
Masoud Fallah Shorshani, University of Toronto
Marianne Hatzopoulou, University of Toronto
Pulmonary diseases, oxidative stress and functional disturbances are associated with ultrafine particles (UFP), black carbon (BC) and noise in metropolitan areas. The traditional methods for evaluating exposure generally rely on a long-term average concentration at the home location and ignore individual movements. In this study, we evaluate individuals’ dynamic exposure to air pollution by assigning UFP, BC and noise predicted by land use regression models to activity locations of individuals throughout the day. This approach is implemented in Toronto, Canada and compared to traditional techniques to highlight the advantages of the dynamic modelling of individual exposure. The comparison between at home exposure and daily mobility-based exposure reveal significant differences when relying on individuals’ mobility compared to a daily average at the home location. We observed that exposures based on activity locations visited throughout the day were often more elevated than daily exposure at the home location. On average, individuals increased their UFP, BC and noise exposure by 9%, 4% and 1% while conducting activities out of home (compared to the daily concentration at home). We conclude that our proposed dynamic approach significantly improves the results of traditional methods that rely on a long-term average concentration at the home location and we shed light on the importance of using individual daily activities to understand exposure. In addition, we examined the effect of socio-economic characteristics and observed that individual exposure is more strongly associated with indicators that represent the mobility of individuals, such as employment and student status.
The Impact of Health Conditions on Elderly Driving: A National-Level Longitudinal Study Using the Health and Retirement Study
Xize Wang, University of California, BerkeleyShow Abstract
This study explores a currently understudied topic related to elderly driving: the impacts of health conditions on driving for people over 65 years of age. The mass retirement of the Baby Boomers in the near future will bring about a more aged population in the United States. In order to better serve the mobility needs of the growing elderly population, we need a better understanding of the travel behavior of the elderly. I construct datasets using the health and mobility information in the most recent five waves (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014) of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a national-level longitudinal dataset. I use fixed effects logit regressions to control for personal attitudes towards driving and show that the impact of overall self-rated health conditions on senior driving has a larger magnitude than the influence of poverty status, family structure and residential patterns. Such impacts of health on driving vary by racial profile, family structure and residential living patterns. In addition to overall health, specific conditions including physical, cognitive and vision conditions impact senior driving. The results imply that with the current dominance of private automobiles, the current American transportation system will not meet the mobility needs of the elderly who will start to drive less because of declining health.
Incorporating Health Equity in the Potential Third Crossing Between San Francisco and Oakland: From Planning to Evaluation
Kate Beck, University of California, BerkeleyShow Abstract
Travis Richards, University of California, Berkeley
Edward Forscher, University of California, Berkeley
Michael Alston, University of California, Berkeley
Alexander Garbier, University of California, Berkeley
Karen Trapenberg Frick
Discussions about and planning for the construction of an additional rail crossing, called the third crossing, of the San Francisco Bay between Oakland and San Francisco are in preliminary stages. The magnitude of the impacts could lead to a transformation of the region and potential for significant direct and indirect public health implications. Traditional infrastructure literature proposes approaches to project planning that neglect current gaps in service and health outcomes. Due to this and the breadth of the potential third crossing, the authors develop a health equity framework that focuses on improving health outcomes for vulnerable communities and suggest an evaluation strategy capable of stratifying specific population needs and results. The novel framework is centered around the idea that affected communities should be actively involved in project governance through a Community Advisory Board, in the construction and operations through fair labor practices, and in ongoing evaluation through the development of metrics and subsequent monitoring. If integrated into all phases of the third crossing and future infrastructure projects, the framework could help ensure the third crossing minimizes unintended consequences and maximizes positive health outcomes for communities that have experienced disproportionate harms due to large-scale transportation projects.
Association Between Active Commuting and Body Mass Index
Aybike Ongel, TUMCREATEShow Abstract
Didem Oguz, Baskent University Hospital
Aysenur Ozderya, Kartal Dr. Lütfi Kırdar Training and Research Hospital Istanbul
Esra Sen, Kartal Dr. Lütfi Kırdar Training and Research Hospital Istanbul
Gunhan Demir, Medipol University Hospital
Ozum Asya Kaynarca, General Directorate of IETT
Mehmet Ali Ersal, General Directorate of IETT
Ihsan Eroglu, General Directorate of IETT
Arif Emecen, General Directorate of IETT
The lack of physical activity and a high in-take of calories have been associated with many health risk including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, mental illness, and obesity. In the last century, the evolution of technology in transportation, workplace, shopping, entertainment, and communications has re-shaped the environment in a way which requires less physical activity but prolong sitting. Commuting to work has been one of the major sedentary activities due to increased traffic congestion and commuting distances. Switching from car commuting to an active or less sedentary routine such as biking, walking, or taking public transportation for work trips has been promoted as a feasible way of engaging commuters in adequate physical activity. This research aims to evaluate the association between commuting and Body Mass Index (BMI). Commuting was assessed in terms of commute type (active commuting and passive commuting) and commute time. Health surveys were conducted in four hospitals in Istanbul between March and November 2016. Data was collected from 677 patients who are habitual commuters and aged 18-65 years. The survey included questions regarding socio-economics, general health, physical activity involvement, nutritional intake, job characteristics, and daily commuting. The outcome assessed was BMI. It was shown that active commuting was inversely associated with BMI. However, the association ceased to be significant after adjustment for covariates. In the subgroup of subjects who are engaged in moderate physical activity outside of work, active commuting more than 20 minutes per day reduces BMI significantly.
Walkability, Transit, and Body Mass Index: Is There a Connection?
Michael Smart, Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyShow Abstract
Researchers and advocates have increasingly drawn connections between individuals’ transportation choices and healthy body weight, and most have found a connection between body weight and the availability and use of transit as well as active modes of travel. This paper improves on prior research by using a long-running panel dataset, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, to assess the connection between Body Mass Index (BMI) and transit availability, the use of transit, residential density, and neighborhood walkability. Separately, I assess whether those who move to transit-richer, denser, or more walkable neighborhoods see systematic changes in body weight over time. There appears to be a connection, though it is of a small magnitude. The largest change in body mass index is associated with giving up one’s car(s), though the changes are slow.
Modeling Health Equity in Active Transportation Planning
Yizheng Wu, University of California, DavisShow Abstract
Dana Rowangould, Sustainable Systems Research
Alex Karner, University of Texas, Austin
Understanding the public health impacts of transportation plans can provide stakeholders with valuable information that can aid in the selection of alternative transportation futures. Active transportation (i.e. walking, bicycling, and some public transit trips) can improve public health through increased physical activity. The Integrated Transport and Health Impacts Model (ITHIM) has been applied around the world to understand changes in public health that will result from the adoption of plans that support active travel. However, the model does not provide disaggregate information required to evaluate the social equity implications of such changes. Health benefits are typically reported as a single value (i.e. total reductions in deaths) at the county or regional level. In this work, we draw from several data sources to report demographically explicit (i.e. race/ethnicity and income) results from an ITHIM implementation that we developed for the Sacramento region in California. This disaggregation is helpful because travel behavior and health outcomes are affected by race/ethnicity and its correlates (e.g. residential location) and planning agencies are required to ensure that their policies and projects are not discriminatory. The results demonstrate that the fundamental insights of ITHIM can be applied to different racial and ethnic groups, providing decision makers with the information needed to target interventions to achieve outcomes for disadvantaged populations. They also pave the way for further spatial disaggregation.
Investigation of Subjective Well-Being, Travel, Built Environment, and Attitudes: A Random-Parameters Ordered Choice Modeling Approach
Stephen McCarthy, Dalhousie UniversityShow Abstract
Muhammad Habib, Dalhousie University
This study presents findings of an ordered choice model that explores the relationships between subjective well-being (SWB) and travel behaviour. With data from a survey of residents of Nova Scotia, Canada, it develops a random-parameters ordered probit model for the impacts of travel behaviour characteristics and activeness on SWB. The approach extends current research by including built environment and attitudinal variables in the model, and by observing heterogeneous effects of variables at the individual level. The study results reinforce theoretical suggestions that daily travel has a positive impact on SWB by facilitating access to fulfilling daily activities such as work and social events, and that doing more daily travel and having greater access to varied modes of transportation improve SWB. Results also offer evidence that being physically active positively affects SWB, living in a denser neighbourhood or further away from a park is negatively related to SWB, and being community-minded is positively related to SWB.
An Analysis of Food Accessibility Using the USDA Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey
Celeste Chavis, Morgan State UniversityShow Abstract
Tiffani Davis, Morgan State University
Tiana Norris, Morgan State University
Anita Jones, Morgan State University
Health professionals have spent years theorizing the outcomes of food deserts—research has been conducted to show how socioeconomic status and a lack of nutritional foods influence a person’s lifestyle. Poor access to a grocery store or healthy foods can cause long term dietary effects and an increase in mortality rates. Metrics have been developed to determine areas, known as food deserts, in which households experience difficulty accessing healthy food options. However, these metrics vary widely in their assignment of a food desert. Utilizing the USDA Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey, this study analyzes the travel patterns of 3,286 households in urban areas in the United States. It was found that travel time and supermarket/super store frequency are the optimal measures of food accessibility. It was determined that most household do not shop at their nearest store, often shopping at 3 or more stores in a month. Lack of vehicle ownership reduces the frequency at which individuals go the grocery store. Lastly, using Baltimore City as a case study, the authors present an alternative definition of food access that that measures the number of grocery stores accessible within a 10 min drive and 10 min walk.