Device-measured and self-reported active travel associations with cardiovascular disease risk factors in an ethnically diverse sample of adults

Katie Crist, Tarik Benmarhnia, Steven Zamora, Jiue An Yang, Dorothy D. Sears, Loki Natarajan, Lindsay Dillon, James F. Sallis, Marta M. Jankowska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Active travel (AT) provides an opportunity to alleviate the physical inactivity and climate crises contributing to the global chronic disease burden, including cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Though AT shows promising links to reduced CVD risk, prior studies relied on self-reported AT assessment. In the present study, device-measured and self-reported AT were compared across population subgroups and relationships with CVD risk biomarkers were evaluated for both measures. The study recruited an ethnically diverse sample (N = 602, mean age 59 years, 42% Hispanic/Latino ethnicity) from neighborhoods that varied by walkability and food access. AT was assessed using concurrently collected accelerometer and GPS data and self-report data from a validated survey. Relationships with body mass index (BMI), triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure (BP), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were modeled using multivariable linear regression. Devices captured more AT than did self-report. We found differences in AT measures by population subgroups, including race, ethnicity, education, income, vehicle access, and walkability. Men had more accelerometer-measured MVPA, though women self-reported more daily minutes. Both device and survey AT measures were positively associated with total accelerometer-measured MVPA, though the relationship was stronger with device-measured AT. Device-measured AT was associated with lower BMI. No other CVD risk biomarker was associated with either AT measure. No effect modification by Hispanic/Latino ethnicity was detected. Further studies with device-based measures are warranted to better understand the relationship between AT and cardiovascular health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3909
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2 2021


  • Accelerometer
  • Biking
  • Blood pressure
  • GPS
  • Glucose
  • Lipids
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Transportation
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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