Is walkability associated with a lower cardiometabolic risk?

Neil T. Coffee, Natasha Howard, Catherine Paquet, Graeme Hugo, Mark Daniel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Walkability of residential environments has been associated with more walking. Given the health benefits of walking, it is expected that people living in locations with higher measured walkability should have a lower risk of cardiometabolic diseases. This study tested the hypothesis that higher walkability was associated with a lower cardiometabolic risk (CMR) for two administrative spatial units and three road buffers. Data were from the North West Adelaide Health Study first wave of data collected between 2000 and 2003. CMR was expressed as a cumulative sum of six clinical risk markers, selected to reflect components of the metabolic syndrome. Walkability was based on an established methodology and operationalised as dwelling density, intersection density, land-use mix and retail footprint. Walkability was associated with lower CMR for the three road buffer representations of the built environment but not for the two administrative spatial units. This may indicate a limitation in the use of administrative spatial units for analyses of walkability and health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalHealth and Place
Publication statusPublished or Issued - May 2013


  • Built environment
  • Cardiometabolic risk
  • Geographic information system
  • Modifiable areal unit problem
  • Walkability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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