Li and colleagues studied how streetscapes influence walking in Boston. They report that “Publicly accessible Google Street View images were used to estimate the amount of street greenery. . . . Statistical analysis results show that the associations between human walking activities and the streetscape variables vary among different land use types after controlling the confounding variable of the Walk Score and population. . .
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Portegijs and colleagues studied how neighborhood features influence the (self-reported) physical activity/mobility of older (79-94 year old) residents of a Finnish community. They asked study participants to indicate “destinations perceived to facilitate and barriers perceived to hinder outdoor mobility in their neighborhood. . . . analyses adjusted for age, sex, and physical performance showed that neighborhood destinations increased the odds for higher physical activity when located beyond 500 m from home . . . but not when located solely within 500 m . . .
Pae and Akar determined that the purpose of a walk influences how we walk and our perceptions of that walk’s implications. The researchers report that they analyzed data from the “2017 [US] National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data. The sample includes 125,885 adults between the ages of 18 and 64. . . . trip purposes are defined as: home-based work, home-based shopping, home-based recreation, home-based other and non-home-based trips. . . . walking for different trip purposes has different effects on adults’ self-assessed health scores.
Andersen and colleagues studied how playground design influences how children (grades 4 to 9) play. The research team gathered data at three Danish schoolyards and reports that when activity in renovated schoolyards was compared to that in one that was mainly asphalt “with few features” that “At two schools, time and physical activity increased in the renewed area, but for one school they decreased.
Walking is as good for our minds as our waistlines. Neuroscience research makes it clear that, whether we’re inside or outdoors, walking can help us think more clearly, creatively, and productively, for example, all while we burn calories. Studies have also determined how design can encourage people to walk through their worlds.
Gotz and colleagues link area walkability and human personality. The researchers share that they had “hypothesized that walkability would be positively linked to Agreeableness and Extraversion due to increased opportunities for social interactions and selective migration. . . . walkability was positively related to Extraversion . . . but not to Agreeableness. . . . walkable urban environments may be conducive to a more animated and lively social climate which is reflected in heightened extraversion among residents of such areas. . . . walkability robustly predicts individual Extraversion.
Besser and team studied the responses of several older user groups to neighborhood design.
Stappers and colleagues investigated how user perceptions of neighborhood walkability influence movement by different groups.
Recently completed research indicates that potential users of bike sharing services are not willing to walk much to pick up that shared bike.
Cognitive scientists have extensively investigated how the physical design of indoor environments can increase our levels of physical activity—which is as good for our brains and how they work as it is for our waistlines. Rigorously conducted studies indicate that increasing activity is not as straightforward as simply adding a sit-stand desk to an office.