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The influence of the built environment on active transport

Basque, Michelle (2014) The influence of the built environment on active transport. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Abstract

In 2001, the United States Surgeon General released a call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity. The report urged individuals and groups to build physical activity into regular routines. Current rates of obesity and inactivity remain high, despite this call for action. The majority of trips taken in the United States today are by automobile; replacing this travel method with active transport will increase physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Active transport is when an individual walks, bikes, or utilizes other non-motorized transportation to get from one destination to another out of utility. This paper examines environmental factors related to active transport in the forms of walking and cycling such as, street connectivity, land use, safety, urbanity, design, and others. Methods used to study these factors are discussed, such as the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to track active transport and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map environmental factors. Case studies in Nashville, Orlando, Portland, Seattle, and Somerville illustrate that community change, based on these factors is possible. Evidence from the literature suggests that increasing street connectivity, mixed use, and safety increases active transport in the community. Urbanity is also positively related to active transport behavior. Design and other factors can be difficult to measure, but studies have shown a relationship between these factors and increased levels of active transport. Changes to local budgets and zoning laws should be considered to improve the health of communities. This topic is significant to the field of public health because implementing evidence based environmental factors to increase active transport has the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality. Finding ways to increase these environmental factors in United States communities should be a priority in order to increase active transport and improve health.


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Details

Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Basque, Michelle
Contributors:
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Marthamaterry@pitt.eduMATERRYUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberBilec, Melissambilec@pitt.eduMBILECUNSPECIFIED
Date: 2 April 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2014
Submission Date: 7 April 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: health, behavior, built, environment, active, transport, physical, activity, urban, planning
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2015 16:55
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2021 20:55
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21113

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