Walking is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to stay healthy. A study by the University of Utah showed that the average person in a walkable neighborhood weighs 6-10 pounds less than someone in an unwalkable neighborhood1.
We’re seeing a growing body of research using Walk Score data to study the relationship between where people live and health outcomes.
For example, public health departments are using Walk Score data to study the link between sprawl and diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular issues. One of my favorite research studies involves giving GPS devices to participants to calculate a “personal Walk Score” based on the places a person goes throughout the day. Cities are using Walk Score ChoiceMaps to measure how many residents can walk to fresh food or parks.
Walk Score and Esri My Place History
Today we’re excited to announce that Walk Score has teamed up with Esri, the leading provider of geospatial analysis tools, to provide healthcare professionals with access to Walk Score data for their patents.
The Esri My Place History tool helps physicians gather data on where patients have lived. Walk Score data is now available in this tool along with information about nearby toxins and heart attack rates.
Bill Davenhall, Head of Health and Human Services at Esri, noted “Walk Score is a new piece of clinical information for health care. If physicians have relevant information at the time they see a patient that could support their recommendations, such as ‘get more exercise’, the value of the encounter could be greatly enhanced and the likelihood of patient compliance much higher.”
Walk Score data includes:
- Walk Score for every location in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand
- Transit Score based on data from hundreds of public transit agencies
- Bike Score for 100+ cities in the U.S. and Canada
- ChoiceMaps that measure access and choice in every city
Photo by Urban Advantage.