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About the Study

Lack of physical activity is one factor that is contributing to the rise in obesity among both children and adults. People can get physical activity through exercise/leisure activities and forms of active transportation such as walking and bicycling. A range of factors influence the decision to walk or ride a bicycle for recreation or transportation, including whether or not the physical environment is supportive of walking and bicycling. A central focus of this research aims to evaluate the effects of new, innovative infrastructure on physical activity (PA) of families with children.

Participant families were recruited from within a few blocks of planned Neighborhood Greenway routes or from comparable control routes.  We worked closely with the Portland Bureau of Transportation to identify routes with imminent Greenway construction.  335 households (including at least one adult and one child), and a total of 514 adults and 537 children participated by collecting GPS and accelerometer data for 5 consecutive days (between summer 2010 and summer 2011), and by completing detailed surveys of physical activity and travel behavior and attitudes.  79% of households were successfully reenlisted to complete a second full round of data collection 2 years later (and after the construction of the Neighborhood Greenway for treatment households).  Over 38,000 trips were recorded, including about 8,500 walking trips and 3,500 bicycling trips.