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Half of California Adults Walk Less Than One Hour Each Week

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Publication Date: December 2005

Publisher(s): UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Author(s): E. Richard Brown; Susan H. Babey; Theresa A. Hastert; Allison L. Diamant

Funder(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Funder(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Topic: Health (Health promotion)

Keywords: adults; physical activity; California

Type: Brief

Coverage: California


One in four California adults does not walk at all for transportation or leisure in an average week and half of California adults walk for a combined total of less than one hour each week as reported in this new health policy research brief that uses data from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2003). Walking behaviors vary by sociodemographic and neighborhood characteristics. Adults with the highest family incomes walk the most for leisure, but those from lower-income households walk the most for transportation and the most overall.

Access to safe parks and neighborhood crime prevention programs increase the amount adults walk for leisure, but do not affect walking for transportation. Adults in neighborhoods with high social cohesion walk more for leisure and less for transportation than those in neighborhoods with lower social cohesion. This brief presents policy recommendations aimed at improving neighborhood environments to encourage walking by California adults.