Walking Trail Use Among a Sample of Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian Adult Walkers

Title: Walking Trail Use Among a Sample of Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian Adult Walkers
Author: Lorna H. McNeill
Publication Date: 2015
Dewey Decimal Number: 613.7
Call Record: DIGITAL      613.7  McNeill  2015

Background: Walking trails are positively associated with physical activity; however, few studies have been conducted among diverse communities. We sought to describe trail use and the physical and social environmental correlates of trail use in a racially/ethnically diverse sample.
Methods: We administered an on-site trail intercept survey to walkers on a trail (N = 175). We assessed frequency/duration of trail use, reasons for using the trail, perceptions of the trail, demographics and BMI.
Results: Walkers were primarily young (mean age = 37.8 years, SD = 11.8) and overweight (mean BMI = 25.2 kg/m2, SD = 4.2). Time spent on the trail and frequency of trail use differed significantly by age (P = .004) but not race/ethnicity. Perceptions of the trail differed significantly by sex and race/ethnicity (P-values = .001, .014, respectively). In regression models, different factors predicted time spent on the trail and frequency of trail use.
Conclusions: Walkers were frequent users of the trail and cited many favorable features of the trail that encouraged their use. Duration and frequency of trail use did not differ by race/ethnicity or sex, thereby indicating that when provided with safe access, racial/ethnic minorities and women may be likely to use trails at rates similar to those of Whites and men.

Keywords: physical activity, racial/ethnic minorities, obesity, environment