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TOPIC V: PUBLIC HEALTH INDICATORS & BIKING & WALKING

Relationship Between Active Commuting & Aerobic Physical Activity

States with higher levels of bicycling and walking to work also see higher levels of their populations getting 150 minutes or more of aerobic physical activity per week. In fact, many of the states that show higher than average rates of physical activity are also states with higher than average rates of active commuting.

Of all states, Montana (62.3%), Vermont (61.3%), and Colorado (58.4%) have the highest percentage of people meeting recommended aerobic physical activity levels — and are also at the top for both biking and walking to work.

Mississippi (38.5%), Oklahoma (37.3%), and Kentucky (35.3%) have the lowest shares of people meeting the aerobic physical activity minimum. These states all have lower than average rates of biking and walking to work.

However, it is important to note that state-level associations between levels of bicycling and walking to work and health variables do not for account individual-level data and may not represent a causal relation.

FIGURE 2.5.1A – RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ACTIVE COMMUTING & AEROBIC PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Footnotes 29 30

There is a positive association between the proportion of individuals in a state who meet physical activity guidelines for aerobic activity (≥150 minutes per week of at least moderate-intensity activity) and both biking to work and walking to work.

The association with the percentage of that State’s commuters who bike to work is moderate (R=0.69). Walking to work has a weaker relationship (R=0.49).

Disclaimer: State-level associations between commute mode share and health variables do not consider individual-level data and may not represent a causal relation.

Physical Activity & Active Commuting

FIGURE 2.5.1B – PHYSICAL ACTIVITY & ACTIVE COMMUTING

Legend: Green = High values for physical activity-related data & high values for commute-related data; Red = Low values for physical activity-related data  & low values for commute-related data

Footnote 31 32

*New Jersey did not have published data for 2019, 2017 data displayed

States with higher levels  of walking or biking to work see lower rates of obesity in their populations. Both relationships are of moderate strength (R= -0.52 and R= -0.64 respectively).

Louisiana and Oregon were only states to see a decrease in the obesity rate from 2015 to 2019, with their obesity rates falling 0.8% and 3.5%, respectively. All other states continue to see increases in obesity prevalence, though increases tend to be smaller in states with higher levels of active commuting.

Obesity & Active Commuting

FIGURE 2.5.2 – OBESITY & ACTIVE COMMUTING

Legend: Green = Low values for obesity-related data & high values for commute-related data; Red = High values for obesity-related data  & low values for commute-related data

*New Jersey did not have published data for 2019, 2018 data displayed

Footnote 33 34

Like with obesity prevalence, there is a moderate, inverse association between the rates of diabetes in a state’s population and the rates of active commuting (R=-0.61 and -0.68 for walking and biking, respectively).

Between 2015 and 2019 there were 8 states that reduced the percentage of their population that has diabetes.

Diabetes & Active Commuting

FIGURE 2.5.3 – DIABETES & ACTIVE COMMUTING

Legend: Green = Low values for diabetes-related data & high values for commute-related data; Red = High values for diabetes-related data & low values for commute-related data

*New Jersey did not have published data for 2019, 2017 data displayed

Footnote 35 36

There is an inverse association between the rate of high blood pressure in a state and the proportion of workers who either bike to work (R=-0.59) or walk to work (R=-0.44).

High Blood Pressure & Active Commuting

FIGURE 2.5.4 – HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE & ACTIVE COMMUTING

Legend: Green = Low values for high blood pressure-related data & high values for commute-related data; Red = High values for high blood pressure-related data & low values for commute-related data

*New Jersey did not have published data for 2019, 2017 data displayed

Footnote 37 38

There is no significant relationship between whether or not a state has a high level of asthma and the rate at which commuters in a state bicycle or walk to work.

Asthma & Active Commuting

FIGURE 2.5.5 – ASTHMA & ACTIVE COMMUTING

Legend: Green = Low values for asthma-related data and high values for commute-related data; Red = High values for asthma-related data and low values for commute-related data

*New Jersey did not have published data for 2019, 2018 data displayed

Footnote 39 40

29

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (2015). Available at https://cdc.gov/cdi/.

30

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (2011 and 2015). Available at https://cdc.gov/cdi/.

31

U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table B08006 1-year estimate (2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/ index.xhtml

32

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (2011 and 2016). Available at https://cdc.gov/cdi/.

33

U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table B08006 1-year estimate (2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/ index.xhtml

34

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (2013 and 2015). Available at https://cdc.gov/cdi/.

35

U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table B08006 1-year estimate (2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/ index.xhtml

36

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (2007 and 2015). Available at https://cdc.gov/cdi/.

37

U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table B08006 1-year estimate (2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/ index.xhtml

38

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (2007 and 2015). Available at https://cdc.gov/cdi/.

39

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (2007 and 2015). Available at https://cdc.gov/cdi/.

40

U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey Table B08006 1-year estimate (2016). Available at https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/ index.xhtml