Accessibility of Walking and Biking as Forms of Exercise in Harris County, Texas, USA

Joseph HUDSON, Wycliffe Wekesa NJORORAI SIMIYU

Abstract


The prevalence of obesity in Texas, specifically Harris County, is a growing health concern. 26.7% of Texan adults reported no leisure time activity, which is significantly higher than the national average (24.4%).  This study aimed at collecting walkability and bike-ability scores for 115 zip codes covering the greater City of Houston in Harris County, Texas, USA. The walkability and bike-ability scores are objective representations of the ability one completes their daily errands. Walkscore.com was used to collect the data from 115 zip codes found inside Harris County. It ranks walkability and bike-ability on a scale of 0 to 100 depending on the availability of walking and biking infrastructure in an area. Thirty-three (28.4%) zip codes had walkability scores between 0 and 24, thirty-nine (33.6%) had scores between 25 and 49, thirty (25.9%) had scores between 50 and 69, eleven (9.5%) had scores between 70 and 89, and only two zip codes scored above 90 (1.7%). Only thirty-five counties have a reported bike-ability score. Zero (0%) are within 0-24, thirty (83.3%) are within 25 to 49, two (5.6%) are within 50 to 69, three (8.33%) are within 70 to 89, and zero (0%) are within 90-100. The majority (72, 62.1%) required vehicle transportation while only thirteen (11.2%) had walkability scores over 70. Only 5 (4.3%) of the total zip codes within Harris County have adequate biking infrastructure.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.53016/jerp.v3i2.55

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