Bridging the Distance: Supporting Physical Activity and Active Transportation in Rural Communities

The majority of Americans live in urban or suburban areas, though around 15 percent of Americans live in nonmetropolitan regions, which make up 72 percent of US land. Although the proportion of Americans who are rural residents has recently declined, these communities still comprise 46.1 million Americans (USDA, 2015). When it comes to health outcomes, researchers have identified inequities in rural areas, including higher rates of obesity compared with urban residents and differing levels of physical activity by geographic region (Yousefian et al., 2009; Hansen and Harley, 2015).

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