How do people feel while walking? A multivariate analysis of emotional well-being for utilitarian and recreational walking episodes

Aupal Mondal, Chandra R. Bhat, Meagan C. Costey, Aarti C. Bhat, Teagan Webb, Tassio B. Magassy, Ram M. Pendyala, William H.K. Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Walking is a mode of transport that offers many benefits. This study aims to provide insights on the emotions associated with different types of walking episodes–namely, utilitarian walking episodes that are undertaken with the purpose of fulfilling an activity at a destination and recreational walking episodes that are undertaken with no specific purpose/destination. A knowledge of the emotions associated with different types of walking episodes can help steer policies and investments in a way that would engender greater levels of walking. The paper utilizes the well-being module of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) data set to model subjective ratings on five different emotions associated with walking, employing a total of 1583 walk episodes. The five emotions include happiness, meaningfulness, tiredness, stress, and painfulness. A multivariate ordered probit model is estimated to account for unobserved attributes that may simultaneously affect multiple emotions. Model estimation results show that a number of socio-demographic variables and walking episode attributes affect how people feel about recreational and utilitarian walking episodes. Overall, it is found that utilitarian walking episodes offer a lower level of positive emotions than recreational episodes–presumably because recreational episodes are undertaken in more pleasant environments under more relaxing conditions. The results suggest that investments in recreational walking infrastructure and green spaces may yield richer dividends in terms of engendering higher levels of walking. Targeting specific socio-demographic groups for awareness campaigns and having strategic parking policies based on the day of the week are some of the other important implications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Transportation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020


  • Multivariate analysis
  • ordered probit
  • recreational walking
  • time use
  • utilitarian walking
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation

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