Research suggests neighborhood design influences residents’ physical activity. This study used a quasi-experimental design to compare physical activity of adult residents in two Lackawanna, N.Y., U.S.A. neighborhoods. The sites had differing built environments by virtue of classification under varying municipal zone designations, yet were closely alike demographically. 153 residents, roughly split between the sites, recorded their physical activity over two days. T-tests showed respondents from the neighborhood designed for greater density typically had at least one person with whom to pursue physical activity, while the less-dense neighborhood residents often sought physical activity alone (p < .01). Regression analyses revealed that older residents from the less-dense neighborhood typically participated in physical activity by themselves (p < .01). The level of density inherent in neighborhood design emerged as a significant influencer of physical activity.
|Keywords:||Municipal Zoning, Built Environments, Physical Activity, Neighborhoods|
Assistant Professor, Communication Department, State University College at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA