Increased Walking’s Additive and No Substitution Effect on Total Physical Activity

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PurposeWe assessed the associations between a change in time spent walking and a change in total physical activity (PA) time within an urban living adult sample to test for additive or substitution effects.MethodsParticipants living in the greater Seattle area were assessed in 2008–2009 and again 1–2 yr later (2010–2011). At each time point, they wore accelerometers and GPS units and recorded trips and locations in a travel diary for seven consecutive days. These data streams were combined to derive a more objective estimate of walking and total PA. Participants also completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire to provide self-reported estimates of walking and total PA. Regression analyses assessed the associations between within-participant changes in objective and self-reported walking and total PA.ResultsData came from 437 participants. On average, a 1-min increase in total walking was associated with an increase in total PA of 1 min, measured by objective data, and 1.2-min, measured by self-reported data. A similar additive effect was consistently found with utilitarian, transportation, or job-related walking, measured by both objective and self-reported data. For recreational walking, the effect of change was mixed between objective and self-reported results.ConclusionBoth objective and self-reported data confirmed an additive effect of utilitarian and total walking on PA.

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