Below are some of the most commonly used terms, and their definitions, used in discussing worksite walkability.
Walking routes should be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and should take into account the needs of the disabled, such as curb cuts for easier wheelchair access to sidewalks.
Walking routes that are visually attractive may be more appealing to walkers. Hardscaping, such as walls and walkways, and landscaping, such as trees and flowers, should be well maintained. Trees can help provide shade and improve the appearance of the property.
Connectivity: the extent to which the sidewalks and paths in an area connect to each other and to desirable destinations such as office buildings, stores, parks, trails, etc. at convenient distances and without encountering major hazards (such as a busy street with no crosswalk); typically streets with short block lengths connected in a grid pattern have higher connectivity than areas with cul-de-sacs and long block lengths.
Walking routes at work can be used for more than just moving in between buildings. Walking for recreation or exercise is possible at many work sites, and even small improvements may encourage employees to view the walking routes as a way to increase their physical activity level.
In thinking about walkability at work, safety is of utmost concern. Generally, this involves assessing the facilities that separate cars and pedestrians, such as sidewalks, cross-walks, and signs and signals, and that walking surfaces are of high-quality and well maintained, to minimize the risk of injury to walkers.
It is often easier to identify and describe discrete portions of the area under study, rather than discuss the walkability of the whole campus, or city block. Identifying segments, or the most likely or useful pedestrian route between each location, can help gain a better understanding of which locations are sufficient and which need improvement.