Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

International Journal of Health Geographics


Geisel School of Medicine


Environments conducive to walking may help people avoid sedentary lifestyles and associated diseases. Recent studies developed walkability models combining several built environment characteristics to optimally predict walking. Developing and testing such models with the same data could lead to overestimating one's ability to predict walking in an independent sample of the population. More accurate estimates of model fit can be obtained by splitting a single study population into training and validation sets (holdout approach) or through developing and evaluating models in different populations. We used these two approaches to test whether built environment characteristics near the home predict walking for exercise. Study participants lived in western Washington State and were adult members of a health maintenance organization. The physical activity data used in this study were collected by telephone interview and were selected for their relevance to cardiovascular disease. In order to limit confounding by prior health conditions, the sample was restricted to participants in good self-reported health and without a documented history of cardiovascular disease.



Original Citation

Lovasi GS, Moudon AV, Pearson AL, Hurvitz PM, Larson EB, Siscovick DS, Berke EM, Lumley T, Psaty BM. Using built environment characteristics to predict walking for exercise. Int J Health Geogr. 2008 Feb 29;7:10. doi: 10.1186/1476-072X-7-10. PMID: 18312660; PMCID: PMC2279119.