It is known to have various effects on walking. But consciously increasing the amount of walking is not easy. As a result of investigating what places people walk a lot, it was found that the more people had access to public transportation at home or at work, and the more various stores or facilities were located in the surrounding walking distance, the more they walked.
A research team at the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology analyzed data from a comprehensive survey of travel and activities in Victoria conducted from 2012 to 2014 to investigate the various effects of surrounding environment on adult walking. The subject of the original data integration survey was 5,000 adults living in Melbourne, and data such as work location and walking time of day were collected.
The research team investigated the subject’s home, work, and school bases and locations within an 800m radius of walking distance. The more service facilities, such as local cafes, shops, supermarkets, and libraries, within walking distance, the better accessibility to the area was evaluated.
As a result of investigating the relationship between local accessibility and the amount of walking per day, people with good local accessibility walked 12 minutes a day on average. On the other hand, the average walking time per day in places with poor local accessibility was only 7 minutes. In addition, it is said that accessibility around work or school has a greater effect on the average walking time per day than accessibility around the house.
The research team also investigated the number of public transportations accessible from the subject’s home, work, and school, and the number of employment within 30 minutes from home using public transportation. As a result, people who have easy access to local public transport or employment have a large amount of walking per day. For example, a person who was hired within 30 minutes by public transportation from home took an average of 4 minutes longer than otherwise. In addition, people living in places with high public transportation convenience took an average of 7 minutes longer than those living in places with low public transportation convenience.
The research team also analyzed the amount of walking by combining both local accessibility and fidelity of public transportation. According to this, places where both local accessibility and fidelity of public transportation were high had an average amount of walking for 10 minutes a day more than those that did not.
The research team pointed out that public transportation is a means of getting close to your home or work area, and from there you need to walk in the front. On the other hand, if you mainly move by car, it is easy to spend less time walking because you sit by car from your home parking lot to your work or destination parking lot.
The research team argues that urban planning can make cities more walkable by enriching services and public transport on foot near home or work. Cities where more people walk more can provide health benefits to residents through increased physical activity and create a truly smart, healthy city. Related information can be found here.