Neighbourhood walkability and its particular importance for adults with a preference for passive transport

Health Place. 2009 Jun;15(2):496-504. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2008.08.010. Epub 2008 Sep 27.


In this study, differences in physical activity between adults living in high versus low walkable neighbourhoods were examined. In Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, neighbourhood walkability was defined by geographical map data and observations. One high walkable and one low walkable neighbourhood were selected. A sample of 120 adults between 20 and 65 years old, agreed to participate in the study and wore a pedometer for seven days. Self-reported physical activity and psychosocial data were collected. Results showed that residents of the high walkable neighbourhood took more steps/day and walked more for transport in their neighbourhood. Further analyses showed that living in a high walkable neighbourhood was associated with taking more steps, especially in adults with a preference for passive transport and/or a low intention to walk or cycle. In a health promotion context, these results are very promising.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Belgium
  • Environment Design*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Facilities
  • Recreation
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Transportation
  • Urban Health
  • Walking*
  • Young Adult