Menu Close

A Walk (or Cycle)


Boone-Heinonen, Janne; Jacobs, David R., Jr.; Sidney, Stephen; Sternfeld, Barbara; Lewis, Cora E.; & Gordon-Larsen, Penny (2009). A Walk (or Cycle). American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 37(4), 285-292. PMCID: PMC2881319


Background: Building on known associations between active commuting and reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, this study examines active transit to neighborhood amenities and differences between walking and cycling for transportation.
Methods: Year-20 data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study (3549 black and white adults aged 38–50 years in 2005–2006) were analyzed in 2008–2009. Sociodemographic correlates of transportation mode (car-only, walk-only, any cycling, other) to neighborhood amenities were examined in multivariable multinomial logistic models. Gender-stratified multivariable linear or multinomial regression models compared CVD risk factors across transit modes.
Results: Active transit was most common to parks and public transit stops; walking was more common than cycling. Among those who used each amenity, active transit (walk-only and any cycling versus car-only transit) was more common in men and those with no live-in partner and less than full-time employment (significant ORs [95% CI] ranging from 1.56 [1.08, 2.27] to 4.54 [1.70, 12.14]), and less common in those with children. Active transit to any neighborhood amenity was associated with more favorable BMI, waist circumference, and fitness (largest coefficient [95% CI] -1.68 [-2.81, -0.55] for BMI, -3.41 [-5.71, -1.11] for waist circumference [cm], and 36.65 [17.99, 55.31] for treadmill test duration [seconds]). Only cycling was associated with lower lifetime CVD risk classification.
Conclusions: Active transit to neighborhood amenities was related to sociodemographics and CVD risk factors. Variation in health-related benefits by active transit mode, if validated in prospective studies, may have implications for transportation planning and research.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Preventive Medicine


Boone-Heinonen, Janne
Jacobs, David R., Jr.
Sidney, Stephen
Sternfeld, Barbara
Lewis, Cora E.
Gordon-Larsen, Penny