Title Slide 1
HI, My name is Laura Bowen and this is Christine Laakso.
When going for a walk how many of you have thought about the environment around you?
- THINGS LIKE...
- - This park is a beautiful place for a run
- - The traffic is heavy this time of day so I will wait until later to go for a walk
- - This crosswalk should really be more clearly marked.
Slide 2 Purpose
Given that we have all thought about the environment in one way or another when choosing our physical activities the purpose of our study was two fold:
Slide 2 Purpose Statement
First, To evaluate the built UMass Lowell campusenvironment from a nut and bolts point of view using the CDCwalkability survey.
Then to evaluatethe perception the students, faculty and staff have of thewalkabilityof the UMass Lowell environment.
Slide 3 Obese College Students
To give you some background, Physical activity does not need be planned or structured, but can be as simple as incorporating activities such as walking into one’s daily routine.
Yet, even with physical activity readily available according to the American College Health Association 3 out of 10 college students are overweight or obese.
Slide 4 The build environment and physical activity
To address this obesity many people focus on the influence of poor diet or the need for more exercise and rarely consider if the environment around them provides opportunities for physical activity.
This is known relationship between the built environment and physical activity means that Sidewalks, aesthetics, or traffic conditions can influence a persons lifestyle.
Slide 5: Possible Changes
Considering this relationship as active members of our communities we can intervene by : - Ensuring that walking and other forms of physical activities are accessible and safe and that - Future designs are conducive to active transport and physical activity.
Possible changes may include: separate lanes for pedestrians, crossing gaurds of busy streets, clearly marker cross walks, clean and attractive environment, maps of pedestrian routes.
Slide 6: Location
The location for our study was Lowell Massachusetts. A city located on the banks of the Merrimack River, about 30 miles northwest of Boston. The city of Lowell is the fourth largest in Massachusetts.
Slide 7: Population
The population for our study was the University of Massachusetts Lowell, an urban campus which consists of 8,000 undergraduates, 3,000 graduates and over 15,000 faculty, staff, and students combined. 90% of undergraduates are Massachusetts residents. Umass Lowell is traditionally considered a commuter school as 75% of students live off campus.
Slide 8: Campus Map
The university itself is divided into 3 separate campuses within walking distance from one another. They are known as South Campus, North Campus, and East Campus. For the purposes of our study, we evaluated each campus separately.
Slide 9 Methods Walkability Survey
To evaluate each campus we utilized the CDC walkability audit tool which is designed to broadly assess pedestrian facilities, destinations, and surroundings along and near a walking route and identify specific improvements that would make the route more attractive and useful to pedestrians.
- This audit tool was performed on each campus in year 1 (2007) and also completed by a different set of reviewers in year 3 (2009) respectively.
Slide 10 Methods Walkability Survey
Each criterion assessed for example Pedestrian Facilities was rated on numerical scale of one to five; one being the lowest and five being the highest rate of approval.
The survey also included a comments section for each segment evaluated
Slide 11 Methods: HCC
The second half of our study directly involved the Umass- Lowell population through the Healthy Campus Campaign.
The Healthy Campus Campaign is an Interdisciplinary initiative designed to develop partnerships to increase physical activity and improve nutrition at an urban university.
Slide 12: Methods: HCC
423 respondents participated in a voluntary 33-question Healthy Campus Campaign survey on the UML build environment, nutrition, and physical activity.
- The survey was distributed in years 1 (2007), 2
- (2008), and 3 (2009) of our study through email and hard copies in random Umass Lowell locations for a wider distribution of subjects.