The relations between walkable neighbourhoods and active participation in daily activities of people with disabilities

Naomi Schreuer, Pnina Plaut, Lihi Golan, Dalia Sachs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Most research on the built environment and active travel focused on the general population or segments including children, adolescents and older adults. There is limited knowledge regarding the built environment and active participation of people with disabilities. This most vulnerable population is at risk of reduced engagement in physical and social activities and of developing secondary chronic health conditions. The present study examines the relationship between people with disabilities' participation in daily activities, self- reported environmental barriers and objective urban spatial walkability measurements. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 137 adults with various disabilities. A self-reported questionnaire collected demographic, residential, disability characteristics, and participation in 41 daily activities data. The Craig Hospital Inventory of Environment Factors (CHIEF) examined perceived environmental barriers. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyzed participants' residential neighborhood (street connectivity, land use mix, slope, housing density and socioeconomic status). Results: significant correlations were found between higher participation of people with physical disabilities and the following urban characteristics: (1) a larger total number of land uses in the neighborhood correlated with increased participation in leisure and cultural activities; (2) lower residential density correlated with a lack of accessible public transportation; and (3) lower slope correlated with increased total participation. Participants living in neighborhoods with low street connectivity perceived more barriers in their neighborhoods. Conclusion: These urban characteristics are important for enabling engagement in active travel for out-of-home activities. Results may shed light on urban planning for vulnerable populations and on their considerations in choosing a neighborhood for residence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100630
JournalJournal of Transport and Health
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Active travel
  • Built environment
  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Physical disability
  • Walkability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Transportation
  • Pollution
  • Safety Research
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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