Examining Aspects of the Built Environment: An Evaluation of a Community Walking Map Project

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  • OBJECTIVE: Interventions that address the built environment present an opportunity to affect behaviours such as physical activity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a community walking map developed for eight neighbourhoods in the City of Edmonton (COE). METHOD: A walking map developed in partnership with the COE’s Walkable Initiative was distributed to 11,994 households across eight neighbourhoods in July 2010. In total, 149 respondents completed an online follow-up survey that assessed the effectiveness of the walking maps in influencing physical activity. RESULTS: Of the 149 respondents, 89 (59.7%) reported that they had received a copy of the map, and 60 (40.2%) reported that they had not. Of those who had a copy, 76.4% (n=68) indicated that the routes and destinations on the map encouraged them to walk more in the community, 64.0% (n=57) stated they would walk more often to get to destinations, and 55.1% (n=49) indicated they would walk more often for physical activity or exercise as a result of having a copy of the map. Finally, 91.0% (n=81) stated that they found the map to be useful, as it provided walking routes (60/81, 74.1%,) and places to go in the community (57/81, 70.4%). Of those who did not receive a copy, 95.0% (n=57) indicated that they would use a community walking map. CONCLUSION: This evaluation demonstrated that a community walking map was a valuable tool for not only encouraging walking for physical activity but also motivating individuals to explore their communities and visit local community destinations.

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    © Canadian Public Health Association. All rights reserved. This is an open acces article. Deposited by permission.
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    • Nykiforuk, C., Nieuwendyk, L., Mitha, S., & Hosler, I. (2012). Examining Aspects of the Built Environment: An Evaluation of a Community Walking Map Project. Can J Public Health, 103(9), eS67-eS72. doi:
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