Associations between home, workplace built environments and physical activity

November 26, 2014 by Neil Schoenherr

Neighborhood features such as bike facilities and low crime rates are associated with increased leisure and workplace-related physical activity, according to a new study from the Prevention Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis.

Researchers conducted telephone interviews with 2,015 adults in four metropolitan areas of Missouri in 2012-13. Those interviewed were asked about what would encourage them to engage in near their homes and workplaces.

Researchers found that seven of 12 built environment features in parks and on greenways, such as "interesting things to look at," were associated with leisure physical activity. Associations between workplace neighborhoods' and physical activity were fewer but also supported physical activity.

The Prevention Research Center (PRC) is a
a collaboration between the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine and Brown School and Saint Louis University School of Public Health.

"Our findings suggest that diverse, attractive and around workplaces support walking, bicycling and use of public transit," wrote co-author J. Aaron Hipp, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School and PRC faculty member.

The study is among the first to examine associations between home and workplace built environments and physical activity.

Exercise rates among urban residents of the U.S. are declining; fewer than 50 percent of adults and 40 percent of youth meet U.S. guidelines for physical activity.

The study was published online Nov. 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Explore further: Adults older than 60 less likely to use public transportation, study finds

More information: "Home and Workplace Built Environment Supports for Physical Activity." DOI:

Related Stories

Adults older than 60 less likely to use public transportation, study finds

July 28, 2014
Walking, biking or taking public transportation for work and errands can increase physical activity and offers other health benefits—but older people are much less likely to regularly use public transit, finds a new study ...

High levels of physical activity linked to better academic performance in boys

September 11, 2014
A recent Finnish study shows that higher levels of physical activity are related to better academic achievement during the first three school years particularly in boys.

Outdoor recess ups quantity, intensity of physical activity

December 11, 2013
(HealthDay)—Outdoor recess is associated with increased quantity and intensity of physical activity compared with indoor recess settings, according to a study published Nov. 21 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ...

Increased access to nature trails, forest lands–not nature preserves–could decrease youth obesity rates, study finds

September 11, 2014
As youth obesity levels in America remain at record high levels, health professionals and policymakers continue to search for solutions to this national health issue. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri and the ...

Life-changing events can lead to less physical activity

June 6, 2014
Adults tend to engage in less leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) after changes in both lifestyle and physical status, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Children in low-income neighborhood with special walking/bike trail exercised more

March 15, 2012
Children living in a neighborhood designed with a special bike trail were three times as likely as those in a traditional neighborhood to engage in vigorous physical activity, according to new research presented at the American ...

Recommended for you

To reduce postoperative pain, consider sleep—and caffeine

August 18, 2017
Sleep is essential for good mental and physical health, and chronic insufficient sleep increases the risk for several chronic health problems.

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

Study shows cigarette makers shifted stance on nicotine patches, gum

August 17, 2017
The use of nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers or nasal sprays—together called "nicotine replacement therapy," or NRT—came into play in 1984 as prescription medicine, which when combined with counseling, helped ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.