Poll: Kentuckians who report excellent or very good sidewalks and road shoulders are more likely to be physically active

Kentucky adults who ranked their neighborhood sidewalks and road shoulders as excellent or very good are more likely to be physically active, but only 26 percent of Kentuckians rank them that highly, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll.

“Adults who report excellent or very good neighborhood sidewalks/shoulders are more likely to report being very or somewhat physically active (84 percent) than residents who report fair to poor sidewalk/shoulder conditions (74 percent),” says a press release from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which sponsors the poll with Interact for Health, formerly the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati.

“This finding stresses the impact of environment on activity choices,” Susan Zepeda, president and CEO of the foundation, said in the release.

Despite the relatively poor rating for sidewalks and shoulders, more than half of those surveyed said their neighborhoods are excellent or very good locations to walk, jog, or bike.

Of those whose incomes are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty threshold, 74 percent said they feel somewhat or very safe being physically active outside in their neighborhoods, but only 45 percent reported walking, jogging, and biking conditions as excellent or very good.

Only 11.9 percent of Appalachian Kentuckians rated their sidewalks and shoulders as excellent or very good. The poll defines Appalachian Kentucky as the 46 counties in the Big Sandy, Buffalo Trace, Cumberland Valley, Fivco, Gateway, Kentucky River and Lake Cumberland area development districts. Just 18.9 percent of Western Kentucky residents rated their sidewalks and shoulders as excellent or very good.

To see the full geographic breakouts, click here.

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