A multi-site comparison of environmental characteristics to support workplace walking

Gilson, Nicolas D., Ainsworth, Barbara, Biddle, Stuart, Faulkner, Guy, Murphy, Marie H., Niven, Ailsa, Pringle, Andy, Puig-Ribera, Anna, Stathi, Afroditi and Umstattd, M. Renee (2009) A multi-site comparison of environmental characteristics to support workplace walking. Preventive Medicine, 49 1: 21-23. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.05.001

Author Gilson, Nicolas D.
Ainsworth, Barbara
Biddle, Stuart
Faulkner, Guy
Murphy, Marie H.
Niven, Ailsa
Pringle, Andy
Puig-Ribera, Anna
Stathi, Afroditi
Umstattd, M. Renee
Title A multi-site comparison of environmental characteristics to support workplace walking
Journal name Preventive Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0091-7435
Publication date 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.05.001
Volume 49
Issue 1
Start page 21
End page 23
Total pages 3
Editor A. Morabia
Place of publication San Diego, CA
Publisher Academic Press
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject 111712 Health Promotion
1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
920205 Health Education and Promotion
920505 Occupational Health
Formatted abstract

This study assessed the environmental characteristics of ten universities, comparing the extent to which physical infra-structures are able to support a route-based walking intervention.


Following protocol standardization between and within sites, major pedestrian routes at main suburban campuses in seven countries (Australia, Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Spain and the United States) were audited by researchers using an established inventory (March–June 2008). The inventory assessed key characteristics (e.g. size and employee number) and nine specific items (pedestrian facilities, vehicle conflicts, crossings, route-maintenance, walkway width, roadway buffer, universal accessibility, aesthetics and cover), scored on a five-point scale (1 = very poor; 5 = excellent). Item scores for each route, were combined and weighted, to provide indicators of low (score of 20–39), fair (score of 40–69), or good (score of 70–100) physical infra-structure support.


Sites varied in area (range of 7–1000 acres) and employee numbers (range of 700–7500 employees). Audits reported good support for route-based walking at seven sites (overall route score range = 72.5 ± 13.9–82.2 ± 17.4), fair support at two sites (overall route score of 69.1 ± 11.7 and 61.7 ± 14.6), and low support at one site (overall route score of 22.1 ± 7.3).


Study methods highlight a valuable audit process, while findings identify the need to improve aspects of physical infra-structure at sites where the built environment may be less conducive for route-based walking.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 07 Dec 2009, 19:13:23 EST by Deborah Noon on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences