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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 611; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060611

Walk Score, Transportation Mode Choice, and Walking Among French Adults: A GPS, Accelerometer, and Mobility Survey Study

1
Department of Population Health, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA
2
College of Global Public Health, New York University, New York, NY 10016, USA
3
Population Center, New York University, New York, NY 10016, USA
4
Center for Data Science, New York University, New York, NY 10016, USA
5
Inserm, UMR-S 1136, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health, Nemesis Team, Paris 75012, France
6
Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Unv Paris 06, UMR-S 1136, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health, Nemesis Team, Paris 75012, France
7
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, École de Santé Publique de l’Université de Montréal, Montreal, Montréal, QC H3N 1X9, Canada
8
Department of Technology, Culture and Society, New York University Tandon School of Engineering, New York, NY 11201, USA
9
Wagner School of Public Service, New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA
10
Departments of Pediatrics and Environmental Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Harry Timmermans
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 10 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
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Abstract

Background: Few studies have used GPS data to analyze the relationship between Walk Score, transportation choice and walking. Additionally, the influence of Walk Score is understudied using trips rather than individuals as statistical units. The purpose of this study is to examine associations at the trip level between Walk Score, transportation mode choice, and walking among Paris adults who were tracked with GPS receivers and accelerometers in the RECORD GPS Study. Methods: In the RECORD GPS Study, 227 participants were tracked during seven days with GPS receivers and accelerometers. Participants were also surveyed with a GPS-based web mapping application on their activities and transportation modes for all trips (6969 trips). Walk Score, which calculates neighborhood walkability, was assessed for each origin and destination of every trip. Multilevel logistic and linear regression analyses were conducted to estimate associations between Walk Score and walking in the trip or accelerometry-assessed number of steps for each trip, after adjustment for individual/neighborhood characteristics. Results: The mean overall Walk Scores for trip origins were 87.1 (SD = 14.4) and for trip destinations 87.1 (SD = 14.5). In adjusted trip-level associations between Walk Score and walking only in the trip, we found that a walkable neighborhood in the trip origin and trip destination was associated with increased odds of walking in the trip assessed in the survey. The odds of only walking in the trip were 3.48 (95% CI: 2.73 to 4.44) times higher when the Walk Score for the trip origin was “Walker’s Paradise” compared to less walkable neighborhoods (Very/Car-Dependent or Somewhat Walkable), with an identical independent effect of trip destination Walk Score on walking. The number of steps per 10 min (as assessed with accelerometry) was cumulatively higher for trips both originating and ending in walkable neighborhoods (i.e., “Very Walkable”). Conclusions: Walkable neighborhoods were associated with increases in walking among adults in Paris, as documented at the trip level. Creating walkable neighborhoods (through neighborhood design increased commercial activity) may increase walking trips and, therefore, could be a relevant health promotion strategy to increase physical activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: built environment; walkability; walking trips; Walk Score; physical activity; transportation; GPS; accelerometer; Paris built environment; walkability; walking trips; Walk Score; physical activity; transportation; GPS; accelerometer; Paris
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Duncan, D.T.; Méline, J.; Kestens, Y.; Day, K.; Elbel, B.; Trasande, L.; Chaix, B. Walk Score, Transportation Mode Choice, and Walking Among French Adults: A GPS, Accelerometer, and Mobility Survey Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 611.

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