180153 Within Walking Distance: Characteristics of individuals who say they can walk to local features

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jeanette Gustat, PhD MPH , Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Janet C. Rice, PhD , Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Kathryn M. Parker, MPH , School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Adam B. Becker, PhD, MPH , Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, Childrens Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
Thomas Farley, MD, MPH , NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY
Introduction: Walking is a method of physical activity in which nearly everyone can participate. Community features such as stores and public services located in walking distance of residents encourage walking. Methodology: An interviewer-administered survey of 467 residents in three, low-income, urban neighborhoods in New Orleans was conducted in fall 2006. Results: Respondents in each neighborhood were similar in terms of race, age, gender and education (p>0.05). Over half the respondents reported walking for exercise but only one quarter reported walking for transportation. Residents indicated if features such as stores, markets and restaurants were within walking distance. Residents in all three neighborhoods were most likely (70.1%, 79.7%, 86.4%) to say they could walk to a corner store. Across neighborhoods, younger individuals were likely to say a corner store or business such as a bank was within walking distance (43.3yrs v 48.5 yrs, p<0.001). Those with a high school education or less were more likely to say there is a corner store within walking distance (83.6% v 72.9%, p<0.006). Those who walk for either transportation or exercise are more likely to believe that a feature is within walking distance (p<0.05 for corner store, other store, service business, restaurant, public service). We are currently assessing density of businesses in each neighborhood using GIS technology in order to compare actual characteristics with self report. Discussion: Self report of walking and self report of features within walking distance are associated. Having neighborhood features within walking distance may encourage walking.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe characteristics related to walking among low-income, urban residents 2. Describe neighborhoods with respect to density of accessible features 3. Examine differences between actual distance and self-reported accessibility of features using GIS technology

Keywords: Physical Activity, Geographic Information Systems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed the study and helped to collect and analyze the data. I wrote the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.