Sina Famili

ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

(Kyung) Kate Hyun


Car-oriented infrastructure in the U.S. leads to physically inactive lifestyles and negative health outcomes. To promote physical activity, public health officials encourage active transportation, namely biking and walking on daily trips. Previous studies proved that both perceived or self-assessed and objective health measures should be used to understand individuals’ health status. Therefore, this study uses the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data to understand the associations between perceived health and modal trip features including the number of trips, trip distance, and duration for auto, public transit, walk, and bike trips. Regarding the objective health, this dissertation uses one-week walking activities data of a sample population from two universities in the U.S. The walking records include the average resting heart rates and minute-by-minute measures of walking heart rates, burned calories, and the number of steps. The results show that individuals with longer auto trips show lower perceived health; however, the higher frequency and longer active transportation are linked to better perceived health. Also, the cross-analysis results on a sample from one of the universities show that perceived health is not necessarily associated with actual health measures of BMI and physical activity. Regarding the objective physical activity and health, the results show that underweight/normal people, compared with overweight/obese individuals, seem to have lower resting heart rates, longer duration of walking, and a significantly higher number of steps (mean and total). Moreover, the results of modeling the changes in the walking heart rates based on health and activity predictors show that overweight and obese individuals have small changes in walking heart rate due to age and high resting heart rates. On the other hand, greater changes in walking heart rates are observed among the healthier people (with lower resting heart rates), due to their large number of steps, and moderate-to-vigorous minutes of walking.


Active travel, Perceived health, Objective health, Physical activity, Walking, Obesity, Heart rate


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington