Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Walking, exercising, and smoking: does neighborhood matter?


Author Info

  • Ross, Catherine E.
Registered author(s):


    Neighborhood context could affect health behaviors because of structure or contagion. We expected that residents of US neighborhoods where a high percentage of residents are poor and do not have college degrees would be more likely to smoke and less likely to walk and exercise. We examined the hypotheses using multi-level data in which survey information from a representative sample of Illinois residents is linked to census-tract information about poverty and education in their neighborhood. Contrary to expectations we found that residents of poor neighborhoods were more likely to walk than those in less disadvantaged places, adjusting for individual poverty, household income, education, race, ethnicity, sex, age, and marital status. This was the case despite the fact that residents of poor neighborhoods were more afraid to leave the house and feared being victimized on the streets. Consistent with expectations we found that residents of neighborhoods where a high percentage of residents are college educated are more likely to walk. Thus, the two aspects of neighborhood socioeconomic status had opposite effects on walking. Neighborhood context had no effect on the likelihood of exercising strenuously. Men in poor neighborhoods were more likely to smoke than those in less disadvantaged places, but neighborhood context had no significant effect on women's likelihood of smoking.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 51 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 265-274

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:51:y:2000:i:2:p:265-274

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Order Information:

    Related research

    Keywords: Neighborhoods Health behaviors Exercise Smoking;


    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Deja Hendrickson & Chery Smith & Nicole Eikenberry, 2006. "Fruit and vegetable access in four low-income food deserts communities in Minnesota," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 371-383, October.
    2. Kuipers, Mirte A.G. & Wingen, Marleen & Stronks, Karien & Kunst, Anton E., 2013. "Smoking initiation, continuation and prevalence in deprived urban areas compared to non-deprived urban areas in The Netherlands," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 132-137.
    3. Wen, Ming & Maloney, Thomas N., 2014. "Neighborhood socioeconomic status and BMI differences by immigrant and legal status: Evidence from Utah," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 120-131.
    4. Do, D. Phuong & Dubowitz, Tamara & Bird, Chloe E. & Lurie, Nicole & Escarce, Jose J. & Finch, Brian K., 2007. "Neighborhood context and ethnicity differences in body mass index: A multilevel analysis using the NHANES III survey (1988-1994)," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 179-203, July.
    5. Rachel Tolbert Kimbro & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn & Sara McLanahan, 2010. "Neighborhood Context, Poverty, and Urban Children’s Outdoor Play," Working Papers 1226, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    6. Kendzor, Darla E. & Reitzel, Lorraine R. & Mazas, Carlos A. & Cofta-Woerpel, Ludmila M. & Cao, Yumei & Ji, Lingyun & Costello, Tracy J. & Vidrine, Jennifer Irvin & Businelle, Michael S. & Li, Yisheng , 2012. "Individual- and area-level unemployment influence smoking cessation among African Americans participating in a randomized clinical trial," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(9), pages 1394-1401.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:51:y:2000:i:2:p:265-274. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.