NYC Survey Shows Benefits of Walking, Cycling, Active Commuting

nyc walk or bike chart

Image: NYC Department of Health
In Other News, the Sky is Blue
The NYC Department of Health conducted a city-wide survey to assess the health benefits of walking and cycling on the population of New York. The result aren't too surprising, but sometimes it's good to confirm what we already know and remind those who still haven't given walking or cycling a try (going to the mailbox doesn't count) that they should join the club. So based on 10,000 telephone interviews, the survey shows that a significant number of New Yorkers incorporate walking and biking into their daily routine, and that these people are more likely to report good mental and physical health than those who don't walk or cycle.
nyc commuting

Image: NYC Department of Health

A few highlights:

  • More than two thirds of adults walked or biked ten or more blocks during the past 30 days to get to routine destinations, such as work, school or running errands (68%). Sixteen percent of NYC working adults actively commute (walk or bike) to work and/or public transportation. Most active commuters walk.
  • Women are more likely than men to report walking to work (17% vs. 15%), while men are more likely to bicycle to work (1.4% vs. 0.3%). [but "Due to small numbers, estimate should be interpreted with caution."]
  • The positive relationship between better health and regular integrated physical activity holds at all levels of income.
  • Regular walking and biking is also related to self-reported better health regardless of weight. Obese New Yorkers who integrate physical activity are more likely to report excellent, very good or good health than those who do not (75% vs. 64%).
  • The number of destinations (stores, work, school) in a neighborhood and available public transportation that people can walk to play an important role in encouraging people to actively commute, as well as to walk and bicycle as part of their daily routine. (city planners, take note!)
  • Sixty percent (60%) of NYC youth report riding a bicycle in the past year, but 89% report that they rarely or never wear a helmet.

Via, Streetsblog
More Walking & Biking
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