Walk Score and Health Outcomes

Healthy streets, healthy people.

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.

Walk Score data is now available in Esri My Place History

Walk Score data in Esri’s My Place History

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.”

This week Matt Lerner and Jason Gruber from Walk Score are at Health Datapalooza in Washington D.C. talking about how Walk Score data can be used by health researchers and healthcare providers.

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

Learn more about Walk Score data and about Walk Score and health research.

Photo by Urban Advantage.

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