Walkability and Health (04-15-22)

Research by Wali and teammates confirms that walkability boosts health.  They share that they examined “high resolution data for 476 participants in the Rails and Health study on health care costs, mode specific MVPA[ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity], parcel-level built environment, and neighborhood perception surveys. . . .  A 1% increase in bike, walk, and transit-related MVPA was associated with lower health care costs by −0.28%, −0.09%, and −0.27% respectively. A one-unit increase in neighborhood walkability index correlates with a 6.48% reduction in health care costs. . . . The results suggest the potential to alter behaviors and lower health care costs through retrofitting neighborhoods.”

Behram Wali, Lawrence Frank, Deborah Young, Brian Saelens, Richard Meenan, John Dickerson, Erin Keast, Jennifer Kuntz, and Stephen Fortmann.  “Pathways from Built Environment to Health Care Costs:  Linking Objectively Measured Built Environment with Physical Activity and Health Care Expenditures.”  Environment and Behavior, in press, https://doi.org/10.1177/00139165221083291