Safe Residential Environments? A Longitudinal Analysis of the Influence of Crime-Related Safety on Walking

 In this study, increases in perceived safety were associated with increased recreational walking, but not walking for transportation.


  • Each increase in perceived safety (i.e., by one level of a five-point scale) was associated with 18 minutes more walking in the neighborhood total. After adjusting for social cohesion, built environment factors (i.e., residential density, street connectivity, and local destinations), and neighborhood perceptions of aesthetics, traffic hazards, and street lighting, an increase in perceived safety was associated with 10 minutes more walking each week.
  • In an adjusted model, each increase in perceived safety was associated with 7 more minutes per week of recreational walking, but had no statistically significant relationship with walking for transportation.
  • Police-reported crime counts were not associated with walking.


  • This article analyzed data from the Residential Environments Project (RESIDE) in Perth, Australia. The study gathered information on neighborhood perceptions and walking within the neighborhood from people who relocated to new housing developments at three time points: one year (1467 surveys completed), three years (1230 surveys completed), and seven years (531 surveys completed) after relocating.

Foster, S., Hooper, P., Knuiman, M., Christian, H., Bull, F., and Giles-Corti, B. (2016). Safe RESIDential Environments? A longitudinal analysis of the influence of crime-related safety on walking. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 13(22).

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