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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/19246

Title: Engaging communities in changing the environment to promote transport-related walking: evaluation of route use in the ‘Fitter for Walking’ project
Authors: Adams, Emma J.
Cavill, Nick
Keywords: Walking
Physical activity
Community engagement
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: © Elsevier
Citation: ADAMS, E.J. and CAVILL, N., 2015. Engaging communities in changing the environment to promote transport-related walking: evaluation of route use in the ‘Fitter for Walking’ project. Journal of Transport and Health, 2(4), pp.580-594.
Abstract: Promoting walking for transport may help to increase physical activity levels. Associations between the built environment and walking for transport have been well reported. Engaging communities in making small-scale changes to local routes is one potential low-cost strategy to improve neighbourhood environments. The purpose of this study was to evaluate changes in pedestrian use of local routes following environmental changes made by communities and local authorities (LAs) in the ‘Fitter for Walking’ (FFW) project, to assess route users’ awareness of the environmental improvements which were implemented and to make recommendations for future evaluation. FFW targeted deprived communities in twelve LA areas in England. Coordinators worked with communities and LA partners to improve local route environments based on identified barriers to walking. Route user counts and intercept surveys were conducted in five FFW case studies at baseline, 12 months and 14-20 months after the project activities had commenced. A wide range of environmental improvements were undertaken. After 12 months, there was a decrease in pedestrian route use overall (-19.4%) and in four case studies (range -42.1% to -10.4%). However, after 14-20 months, an increase in pedestrian route user overall (14.9%) and in all case studies (range 5.4% to 58.9%) was observed compared to baseline. Route users’ awareness of environmental improvements made to routes varied across case studies and was very low for some of the improvements which had been made. Engaging communities in making small-scale environmental improvements to key routes in local neighbourhoods may be an effective, low-cost strategy for increasing walking for transport. Increasing the number of people walking on newly improved routes may take a long time and require additional promotional initiatives. Evaluating these types of initiatives is challenging. These factors should be considered by health and transport professionals developing initiatives and by researchers interested in measuring behaviour change.
Description: This paper was published as Open Access by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1016/j.jth.2015.09.002
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/19246
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jth.2015.09.002
ISSN: 2214-1405
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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