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The walkability of Bristol: How this relates to physical activity, health and well-being

Burgess, Sarah; Sinnett, Danielle

Authors

Danielle Sinnett Danielle.Sinnett@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Healthy Green Infrastructure



Abstract

Walking is accessible to the majority of the population; it is low cost, requires no specialist equipment or training and can be relatively easily incorporated into daily routines. A recent review of the evidence base for investment in the walking environment (Sinnett et al., 2011) identified a number of gaps in the literature including the lack of evidence of the relationship between physical activity, travel choice and quality of life in the UK.
This project seeks to examine the walkability of Bristol, England, and how this relates to physical activity, walking, health and well-being. A city-wide repeat cross-sectional was conducted using data from the Bristol City Council annual quality of life survey, spanning a ten year period (2001-2011). This data was used to examine the relationship between perceptions of the neighbourhood (e.g. neighbourhood satisfaction, access to amenities, safety and trust) and health and well-being outcomes (e.g. self-reported walking, physical activity, general health and well-being). These were supplemented with data on urban form (density, connectivity and land use mix) from Geographical Information Systems to explore the relationship between walkability and these outcomes. The relationships have been explored over the ten year period to examine how changes in the perception of the neighbourhood over time are related to levels of physical activity, walking, health and well-being.
The analyses demonstrate that investment in the walking environment has a positive impact on the level of physical activity of residents and their overall health and well-being. There is a relationship between residents’ perceptions of the neighbourhood and their overall health and well-being in Bristol and people report more physical activity in neighbourhoods that have a greater measured walkability and better quality walking environment.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Start Date Sep 11, 2013
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Burgess, S., & Sinnett, D. (2013, September). The walkability of Bristol: How this relates to physical activity, health and well-being. Paper presented at UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference: Healthy Communities; hopeful places: In Defence of Planning
Keywords walkability, Bristol, physical activity, health, well-being
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference: Healthy Communities; hopeful places: In Defence of Planning