Rural Neighborhood Walkability: Implications for Assessment

Qualitative interviews with an adult population indicate that concepts of neighborhoods and walkability apply to rural areas, but some characteristics of these concepts may be different from urban and suburban areas.


  • Most study participants identified their neighborhoods as an area 0.5 square miles or less, and many walking destinations for participants were outside their self-identified neighborhood.
  • Sidewalks were not viewed as necessary for participating in physical activity in participants’ neighborhoods.


  • This study used 29 semi-structured interviews to explore concepts of neighborhood walkability among physically active adults living in rural areas.
  • The mean age was 55 years old, 66% were male, 76% were white, and 24% were African American.

Kegler, M. C., Alcantara, I., Haardörfer, R., Gemma, A., Ballard, D., & Gazmararian, J. (2015). Rural Neighborhood Walkability : Implications for Assessment. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 12(Suppl 1), 40–45.

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