This page lists articles that explore the role of physical environments and infrastructure on encouraging active travel and improving health.
A cost-benefit analysis of physical activity using bike/pedestrian trails
Wang, G., Macera, C., Scudder-Soucie, B., Schmid, T., Pratt, M., Buchner, D.
Health Promotion Practice, April 2005, Volume 6, Number 2, pages 174-179
A cost-benefit analysis of using bike/pedestrian trails in Nebraska to reduce health care costs was undertaken, finding that every $1 invested resulted in a greater return in direct medical benefit.
Keywords: Environment, Trails, Economic Analysis, Community, Inactivity
Cost-benefit analyses of walking and cycling track networks taking into account insecurity, health effects and external costs of motorized traffic
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, October 2004, Volume 38, Issue 8, pages 593-606
This paper outlines a cost-benefit analysis of walking and cycling track networks in three Norwegian cities, estimating that the benefits outweigh the costs by a factor of 4-5.
Keywords: Cost-benefit analysis, Walking, Cycling, Health Effects, Barriers, Insecurity
Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater effect on physical and mental wellbeing than physical activity indoors? A systematic review
Thompson Coon, J., Boddy, K., Stein, K., Whear, R., Barton, J., Depledge, M.
Environmental Science & Technology, 2011, Volume 45, Issue 5, pages 1761-1772
This paper compares the effects of indoor and outdoor physical activity on physical and mental wellbeing, tentatively finding that outdoor physical activity was associated with greater feelings of revitalisation and positive engagement, although more research is needed.
Keywords: Physical Activity, Physical Wellbeing, Mental Wellbeing
A community-based approach to promoting walking in rural areas
Brownson, R., Baker, E., Boyd, R., Caito, N., Duggan, K., Housemann, R., Kreuter, M., Mitchell, T., Motton, F., Pulley, C., Schmid, T., Walton, D.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, July 2004, Volume 27, Issue 1, pages 28-34
This paper investigates the effectiveness of physical activity interventions in six rural communities, finding that there was an increase in the use of walking trails, although this didn't correspond with an increase in community-wide walking rates.
Keywords: Walking, Physical Activity, Community, Trails
Characteristics of physical activity levels among trail users in a U.S. national sample
Librett, J., Yore, M., Schmid, T.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, November 2006, Volume 31, Issue 5, pages 399-405
This research seeks to gain greater understanding of the users of community walking and cycling trails, finding that those who reported using the trails most often were more likely to meet their daily physical activity requirements.
Keywords: Community, Physical Activity, Trails, Cycling, Walking
Perceived barriers to walking for physical activity
Dunton, G., Schneider, M.
Preventing Chronic Disease, October 2006, Volume 3, Number 4
Full report available
A group of undergraduate students were surveyed to ascertain some of the barriers to walking for physical activity, finding that any one of three factors; appearance, footwear and situation, underlay perceived barriers to walking.
Keywords: Walking, Physical Activity, Barriers
iConnect study - an applied ecological framework for evaluating infrastructure
Ogilvie, D., Bull, F., Powell, J., Cooper, A., Brand, C., Mutrie, N., Preston, J., Rutter, H.
American Journal of Public Health, March 2011, Volume 101, Issue 3, pages 473-481
The authors have developed an ecological framework by which current theories about the behavioural effects of environmental change may be tested.
Keywords: Ecological Framework, Infrastructure, Walking, Cycling, Behaviour Change
Pedestrian risk decrease with pedestrian flow. A case study based on data from signalized intersections in Hamilton, Ontario
Accident Analysis and Prevention, July 2002, Volume 34, Issue 4, pages 457-464
This paper explores the comparative risk to pedestrians of left- and right-turning vehicles in Hamilton, Ontario.
Keywords: Model, Safety, Pedestrian
All work and no play? The role of instrumental and affective factors in work and leisure journeys by different travel modes
Anable, J., Gatersleben, B.
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, February-March 2005, Volume 39, Issues 2-3, pages 163-181
This paper examines the relative importance of various instrumental and affective factors for journeys made for leisure and for travelling to work.
Keywords: Leisure, Travel to Work, Journey
The role of traffic-free routes in encouraging cycling among excluded groups: a case study of the National Cycle Network
Moore, C., Cope, A., Bulmer, A.
World Transport Policy and Practice, 2006, Volume 12, Issue 3, pages 21-35
Full report available
This paper presents an analysis of data on cyclists using traffic-free routes in the UK, and discusses the implications for policy and practical projects.
Keywords: Cycling, Traffic-Free Routes, National Cycle Network, Gender, Ethnicity, Deprivation, Age
The UK National Cycle Network: an assessment of the benefits of a sustainable transport infrastructure
Cope, A., Cairns, S., Fox, K., Lawlor, D., Lockie, M., Lumsdon, L., Riddoch, C., Rosen, P.
World Transport Policy and Practice, 2003, Volume 9, Number 1, pages 6-17
Full article available
This paper analyses data to assess the implications of the National Cycle Network on health, social inclusion, economic opportunities for tourism and recreation, and the nature of cyclists and cycling, finding that many various benefits are being realised.
Keywords: Cycling, Walking, Physical Activity, National Cycle Network, Health Benefits, Tourism, Recreation, Social Inclusion, Sustainable Transport
An environmental intervention to promote walking and cycling-the impact of a newly constructed rail trail in Western Sydney
Merom, D., Bauman, A., Vita, P., Close, G.
Preventive Medicine, February 2003, Volume 36, Issue 2, pages 235-242
This paper assesses the impact of the construction of a new walking/cycling path in Western Sydney on levels of walking and cycling in the area.
Keywords: Physical Activity, Walking, Cycling, Environmental Intervention, Health Promotion
Associations between self-reported and objective physical environmental factors and use of a community rail-trail
Troped, P., Saunders, R., Pate, R., Reininger, B., Ureda, J., Thompson, S.
Preventive Medicine, February 2001, Volume 32, Issue 2, pages 191-200
This paper explores the relationship between the use of a community rail trail in Massachusetts, USA and socio-demographics and environmental factors.
Keywords: Environment, Physical Activity, Determinants, Trails, Geographic Information Systems
Gender and critical mass: do high cycle flows correlate with a high proportion of female cyclists?
London Analytics Research Journal, 2005, Issue 1
This paper demonstrates a positive correlation between cycle mode share and proportion of female cyclists.
Keywords: Gender, Cycling, Female Cyclists, Critical Mass
Effectiveness of speed cameras in preventing road traffic collisions and related casualties: systematic review
Pilkington, P., Kinra, S.
British Medical Journal, January 2005, Volume 330, pages 331-334
Full report available
This article reviews the evidence of the effectiveness of speed cameras in reducing accidents, finding that speed cameras appear to be an effective intervention, although the evidence is limited.
Keywords: Speed Camera, Traffic Accidents, Road Deaths/Injuries
Safety in numbers: more walkers and bicyclists, safer walking and bicycling
Injury Prevention, 2003, Volume 9, pages 205-209
Full article available
This paper examines the relationship between the numbers of people walking or cycling and the frequency of collisions between motorists and cyclists or walkers, finding that there are fewer collisions where there are more people cycling or walking.
Keywords: Cycling, Walking, Safety, Accidents, Motorists
Assessing the actual risks faced by cyclists
Traffic Engineering and Control, 2002, Volume 43, Issue 9, pages 352-256
Full article available
This article investigates the common theory that cycling is unsafe, finding that cycling is actually a relatively low-risk activity.
Keywords: Cycling, Safety, Risk
Do features of public open spaces vary according to neighbourhood socio-economic status?
Crawford, D., Timperio, A., Giles-Corti, B., Ball, K., Hume, C., Roberts, R., Andrianapoulos, N., Salmon, J.
Health and Place, December 2008, Volume 14, Issue 4, pages 889-893
This paper compares the features of public open space according to neighbourhood socio-economic status, finding that open spaces in high socio-economic neighbourhoods possess features that are more likely to encourage physical activity amongst children.
Keywords: Children, Play, Parks, Playgrounds, Social Disadvantage, Deprivation, Neighbourhoods
The sociodemographics of land use planning: relationships to physical activity, accessibility and equity
Aytur, S., Rodriguez, D., Evenson, K., Catellier, D., Rosamond, W.
Health and Place, September 2008, Volume 14, Issue 3, pages 367-385
This paper explores the relationship between the attributes of land-use plans and socio-demographic variations in PA, finding that land use plans that included non-motorised transport improvements were positively associated with both leisure and transport-related physical activity.
Keywords: Physical Activity, Land Use Planning, Health Disparities, Environmental Justice, Policy
Residential context, walking and obesity: two African-American neighborhoods compared
Miles, R., Panton, L., Jang, M., Haymes, E.
Health and Place, June 2008, Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 275-286
This paper compares two neighbourhoods similar in urban form, but with a difference in level of neighbourhood disadvantage, finding that there were different types of barriers to physical activity.
Keywords: Residential Context, Walking, Obesity, Physical Activity
Obesity and health inequalities
Law, C., Power, C., Graham, H., Merrick, D, Department of Health Public Health Research Consortium
Obesity Reviews, March 2007, Volume 8, Issue Supplement s1, pages 19-22
Full article available
This paper briefly examines the approaches to understanding the environmental causes of obesity and the policies and interventions that could prevent it.
Keywords: Obesity, Health Inequalities
Neighbourhood inequalities in physical inactivity: the role of neighbourhood attractiveness, proximity to local facilities and safety in the Netherlands
van Lenthe, F., Brug, J., Mackenbach, J.
Social Science and Medicine, February 2005, Volume 60, Issue 4, pages 763-775
This paper investigates the association between neighbourhood socio-economic environment and physical activity, finding that residents of lower socio-economic neighbourhoods were more likely to walk or cycle to work or the shops, but less likely to walk or cycle for leisure.
Keywords: Physical Activity, Neighbourhood, Area Characteristics, Socio-economic Position, Multilevel Analysis
Do attributes in the physical environment influence children's physical activity? A review of the literature
Davison, K., Lawson, C.
International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2006, Volume 3, Issue 19
Full report available
This paper shows that, based on a literature review, there is an association between physical activity amongst children and their local physical environment.
Keywords: Physical Activity, Children, Literature Review, Infrastructure, Physical Environment
Independent mobility in relation to weekday and weekend physical activity in children aged 10-11 years: The PEACH Project
Page, A., Cooper, A., Griew, P., Davis, L., Hillsdon, M.
International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2009, Volume 6, Issue 2
Full report available
This paper investigates the relationship between independent mobility of children and their levels of physical activity, finding that independent mobility was positively correlated with weekday physical activity for both boys and girls.
Keywords: Physical Activity, Independent Mobility, Children
Children's active free play in local neighbourhoods
Veitch, J., Salmon, J., Ball, K.
Health Education Research, November 2007, Volume 23, Number 5, pages 870-879
This paper examines children's access to public spaces in their neighbourhood and how they vary by age, sex, and socio-economic status, finding that those in lower socio-economic neighbourhoods had to travel further to access public open spaces, hence inhibiting their independent mobility and active free play.
Keywords: Independent Mobility, Neighbourhood, Socio-economic status, Active Play
Perceptions about the local neighborhood and walking and cycling among children
Timpeiro, A., Crawford, D., Telford, A., Salmon, J.
Preventive Medicine, January 2004, Volume 38, Issue 1, pages 39-47
This paper examines the association between walking/cycling amongst children and perceptions of the local neighbourhood, finding that parents' perceptions of physical aspects of the local neighbourhood may influence children's physical activity.
Keywords: Physical Activity, Neighbourhood, Physical Environment, Walking, Cycling, Children, Transport, Perceptions, Safety
Neighbourhood and developmental differences in children's perceptions of opportunities for play and physical activity
Holt, N., Spence, J., Sehn, Z., Cutumisu, N.
Health and Place, March 2008, Volume 14, Issue 1, pages 2-14
This paper investigates the perception of places to play and be physically active differ between two different neighbourhood types, finding that children living in a grid-style neighbourhood engage in more active travel than children living in cul-de-sac neighbourhoods.
Keywords: Physical Activity, Neighbourhood, Urban Form, Active Travel/Transport, Children
The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds
Ginsburg, K., Committee on Communications, Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health
Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, January 2007, Volume 119, Number 1, pages 182-191
Full report available
This report addresses factors that have led to reduced play amongst children and offers guidance on how this trend can be reversed.
Keywords: Children, Adolescents, Play, Parents, Resilience, Mental Health
Playing it safe: the influence of neighbourhood safety on children's physical activity
Carver, A., Timperio, A., Crawford, D.
Health and Place, June 2008, Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 217-227
This paper reviews studies that have examined the relationship between neighbourhood safety and physical activity amongst young people.
Keywords: Children, Adolescents, Physical Activity, Neighbourhood, Safety, Risk
Neighborhood disorder, perceived safety, and readiness to encourage use of local playgrounds
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, April 2008, Volume 34, Issue 4, pages 275-281
This paper examines the effect of physical environments and perceived neighbourhood safety on influencing parents to encourage their children to play in local playgrounds and be physically active.
Keywords: Children, Play, Physical Activity, Physical Environments, Safety, Neighbourhood
Features of public open spaces and physical activity among children
Timperio, A., Giles-Corti, B., Crawford, D., Andrianopoulos, N., Ball, K., Salmon, J., Hume, C.
Preventive Medicine, November 2008, Volume 47, Issue 5, pages 514-518
This paper examines associations between features of public open spaces and physical activity amongst children, finding that certain features of public spaces, such as playgrounds, were associated with physical activity, although others showed an inverse association.
Keywords: Physical Activity, Physical Environment, Youth, Children, Public Open Space
The extent of children's independent mobility and the number of actualized affordances as criteria for child-friendly environments
Journal of Environmental Psychology, June 2004, Volume 24, Issue 2, pages 179-198
This paper examines the amount of independent mobility children have based on types of environments, which have been categorised by the author based on the degrees of diversity of environmental resources and access to play.
Keywords: Children, Play, Physical Environment, Urban, Independent Mobility
A place to play: socioeconomic and spatial factors in children's physical activity
Ziviani, J., Wadley, D., Ward, H., Macdonald, D., Jenkins, D., Rodger, S.
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, March 2008, Volume 55, Issue 1, pages 2-11
This paper investigates any socio-environmental and spatial factors that may contribute to physical inactivity and obesity in children.
Keywords: Physical Inactivity, Obesity, Children, Socio-Environmental Factors, Socio-Economic Status
Is practice aligned with the principles? Implementing New Urbanism in Perth, Western Australia
Falconer, R., Newman, P., Giles-Corti, B.
Transport Policy, September 2010, Volume 17, Issue 5, pages 287-294
The concept of the New Urbanism approach to urban development is investigated, finding that while local walking has increased, there is still a high amount of car dependence.
Keywords: New Urbanism, Urban Development, Liveable Neighbourhoods, Car Dependence
Contributions of built environment to childhood obesity
Rahman, T., Cushing, R., Jackson, R.
The Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, January-February 2011, Volume 78, Issue 1, pages 49-57
Through a literature review, this paper investigates the association between various built environment attributes and childhood obesity, finding that accessibility to safe places to play and local markets offering healthy food options reduce the likelihood of childhood obesity.
Keywords: Childhood Obesity, Children, Physical Inactivity, Physical Environment