The association between sidewalk length and walking for different purposes in established neighborhoods

McCormack, Gavin R., Shiell, Alan, Giles-Corti, Billie, Begg, Stephen, Veerman, J. Lennert, Geelhoed, Elizabeth, Amarasinghe, Anura and Emery, J. C. Herb (2012) The association between sidewalk length and walking for different purposes in established neighborhoods. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9 92-1-92-12. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-92

Author McCormack, Gavin R.
Shiell, Alan
Giles-Corti, Billie
Begg, Stephen
Veerman, J. Lennert
Geelhoed, Elizabeth
Amarasinghe, Anura
Emery, J. C. Herb
Title The association between sidewalk length and walking for different purposes in established neighborhoods
Journal name International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1479-5868
Publication date 2012-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1479-5868-9-92
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Start page 92-1
End page 92-12
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Walking in neighborhood environments is undertaken for different purposes including for transportation and leisure. We examined whether sidewalk availability was associated with participation in, and minutes of neighborhood-based walking for transportation (NWT) and recreation (NWR) after controlling for neighborhood self-selection.

Baseline survey data from respondents (n = 1813) who participated in the RESIDential Environment (RESIDE) project (Perth, Western Australia) were used. Respondents were recruited based on their plans to move to another neighborhood in the following year. Usual weekly neighborhood-based walking, residential preferences, walking attitudes, and demographics were measured. Characteristics of the respondent's baseline neighborhood were measured including transportation-related walkability and sidewalk length. A Heckman two-stage modeling approach (multivariate Probit regression for walking participation, followed by a sample selection-bias corrected OLS regression for walking minutes) estimated the relative contribution of sidewalk length to NWT and NWR.

After adjustment, neighborhood sidewalk length and walkability were positively associated with a 2.97 and 2.16 percentage point increase in the probability of NWT participation, respectively. For each 10 km increase in sidewalk length, NWT increased by 5.38 min/wk and overall neighborhood-based walking increased by 5.26 min/wk. Neighborhood walkability was not associated with NWT or NWR minutes. Moreover, sidewalk length was not associated with NWR minutes.


Sidewalk availability in established neighborhoods may be differentially associated with walking for different purposes. Our findings suggest that large investments in sidewalk construction alone would yield small increases in walking.
Keyword Pedestrian
Urban form
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number92

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 02 Dec 2012, 00:36:50 EST by System User on behalf of School of Public Health