This paper estimates the amount of daily walking associated with using public transportation in a large metropolitan area and examines individual and contextual characteristics associated with walking distances. Total walking distance to and from transit was calculated from a travel diary survey for 6913 individuals. Multilevel regression modelling was used to examine the underlying factors associated with walking to public transportation. The physical activity benefits of public transportation varied along gender and socio-economic lines. Recommended minutes of daily physical activity can be achieved for public transportation users, especially train users living in affluent suburbs.
Active commuting between home and place of work or study is often cited as an interesting source of physical activity in a public health perspective. However, knowledge about these behaviors is meager. This was therefore studied in adult active commuters (n = 1872) in Greater Stockholm, Sweden, a Nordic metropolitan setting. They received questionnaires and individually adjusted maps to draw their normal commuting route. Three different modality groups were identified in men and women: single-mode cyclists and pedestrians (those who only cycle or walk, respectively) and dual-mode commuters (those who alternately walk or cycle). Some gender differences were observed in trip distances, frequencies, and velocities. A large majority of the commuting trip durations met the minimum health recommendation of at least 10-minute-long activity bouts. The median single-mode pedestrians and dual-mode commuters met or were close to the recommended weekly physical activity levels of at least 150 minutes most of the year, whereas the single-mode cyclists did so only during spring-mid-fall. A high total number of trips per year (range of medians: 230-390) adds to the value in a health perspective. To fully grasp active commuting behaviors in future studies, both walking and cycling should be assessed over different seasons and ideally over the whole year.
Cites: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Feb;32(2):504-1010694139
Cites: BMC Med Res Methodol. 2011;11(1):621241470
Cites: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Sep;32(9 Suppl):S498-50410993420
Cites: J Epidemiol Community Health. 2010 Nov;64(11):1010-619843499
Cites: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Feb;41(2):472-819151593
Cites: Sports Med. 2008;38(9):751-818712942
Cites: Circulation. 2007 Aug 28;116(9):1081-9317671237
Active commuting to school by walking or cycling can have positive impact on children's health and development. The study investigates the prevalence of active commuting to school in Sweden, a setting where it is facilitated and promoted; and how active commuting varies according to socio-demographic and socio-economic characteristics.
Self-reports from a national sample of Swedish children (11- to 15-year-olds, n = 4415) and a regional one from Stockholm County (13-year-olds, n = 1008) on transport to school were compared. The association that active commuting has with socio-demographic (gender, school grade, Swedish origin, type of housing, urbanicity in the local area), and socio-economic characteristics (household socio-economic status, family car ownership) was studied using logistic regression, controlling for car ownership and urbanicity, respectively.
Active commuting was high (62.9% in the national sample) but decreased with age-76% at the age of 11 years, 62% at the age of 13 years and 50% at the age of 15 years-whereas public transport increased (19-43%). Living in an apartment or row-house (compared with detached house) and living in a medium-sized city (compared with a metropolitan area) was associated with active commuting. In urban areas, active commuting was more common in worker households compared with intermediate- to high-level salaried employees.
Active commuting is common but decreases with age. Active commuting differed based on housing and urbanicity but not based on gender or Swedish origin, and impact of socio-economic factors differed depending on level of urbanicity.
This study examines how active transportation could help increase the daily physical activity volume of school-aged children.
Using data from the 2003 Origin-Destination Survey carried out among 5% of the 3.5 million residents of the Greater Montreal Area, we determined the proportion of short motorized trips made daily by children 5-14 years old (16 837 children sampled) and estimated the number of steps these trips would account for if they were travelled by foot, taking into account variables such as age, sex and height of children. Modal choice and trip purpose were also examined.
In 2003, 31.2% of the daily trips made by children aged 5-14 years in the Greater Montreal Area were 1 km or less (0.6 mile). Of these, 33.0% were motorized trips. Overall, 13.1% of the children in the area had 'steps in reserve', an average of 2238 steps per child per day. If they were performed, these steps would account for 16.6% of the daily recommended volume of physical activity for children.
Replacing short motorized trips with walking could increase the physical activity level of children and contribute to meet the recommended guidelines, as long as these walking trips add to their daily physical activity volume. It could also reduce their dependence towards adults for moving around.
Walking or cycling to school represents an opportunity for children to engage in physical activity. The study objectives were to: 1) describe active transportation policies, programs, and built environments of Canadian schools and their surrounding neighbourhoods, and 2) document variations based on urban-rural location and school type (primary vs. secondary vs. mixed primary/secondary schools).
397 schools from across Canada were studied. A school administrator completed a questionnaire and responses were used to assess schools' policies and programs related to active transportation and the safety and aesthetics of their respective neighbourhoods. Built environment features in a 1 km-radius circular buffer around each school were measured using geographic information systems.
Greater than 70% of schools had passive policies (e.g., skateboards permitted on school grounds) and facilities (e.g., bicycle racks in secure area to avoid theft) to encourage bicycle and small-wheeled vehicle use. Less than 40% of schools had active programs designed to encourage active transportation, such as organized 'walk to school' days. Garbage in the streets, crime and substance abuse were barriers in most school neighbourhoods. Approximately 42% of schools were located on high-speed roads not amenable to active transportation and 14% did not have a sidewalk leading to the school. Secondary schools had less favourable active transportation policies/programs and neighbourhood safety/aesthetics compared to primary schools. Rural schools had less favourable built environments than urban schools.
Canadian children, particularly those from rural areas, face a number of impediments to active transportation as a method of travelling to school.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the extent of international differences in children's exposure to traffic as pedestrians or bicyclists. DESIGN: Children's travel patterns were surveyed using a parent-child administered questionnaire. Children were sampled via primary schools, using a probability cluster sampling design. SETTING: Six cities in five countries: Melbourne and Perth (Australia), Montreal (Canada), Auckland (New Zealand), Umeå (Sweden), and Baltimore (USA). SUBJECTS: Children aged 6 and 9 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Modes of travel on the school-home journey, total daily time spent walking, and the average daily number of roads crossed. MAIN FINDINGS: Responses were obtained from the parents of 13423 children. There are distinct patterns of children's travel in the six cities studied. Children's travel in the three Australasian cities, Melbourne, Perth and Auckland, is characterised by high car use, low levels of bicycling, and a steep decline in walking with increasing car ownership. In these cities, over a third of the children sampled spent less than five minutes walking per day. In Montreal, walking and public transport were the most common modes of travel. In Umeå, walking and bicycling predominated, with very low use of motorised transport. In comparison with children in the Australasian and North American cities, children in Umeå spend more time walking, with 87% of children walking for more than five minutes per day. CONCLUSIONS: There are large international differences in the extent to which children walk and cycle. These findings would suggest that differences in 'exposure to risk' may be an important contributor to international differences in pedestrian injury rates. There are also substantial differences in pedestrian exposure to risk by levels of car ownership-differences that may explain socioeconomic differentials in pedestrian injury rates.
Active commuting provides routine-based regular physical activity which can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Using public transportation involves some walking or cycling to a transit stop, transfers and a walk to the end location and users of public transportation have been found to accumulate more moderate physical activity than non-users. Understanding how public transportation characteristics are associated with active transportation is thus important from a public health perspective. This study examines the associations between objective measures of access to public transportation and self-reported active commuting. Self-reported time spent either walking or cycling commuting each day and the distance to workplace were obtained for adults aged 16 to 65 in the Danish National Health Survey 2010 (n = 28,928). Access to public transportation measures were computed by combining GIS-based road network distances from home address to public transit stops an integrating their service level. Multilevel logistic regression was used to examine the association between access to public transportation measures and active commuting. Distance to bus stop, density of bus stops, and number of transport modes were all positively associated with being an active commuter and with meeting recommendations of physical activity. No significant association was found between bus services at the nearest stop and active commuting. The results highlight the importance of including detailed measurements of access to public transit in order to identify the characteristics that facilitate the use of public transportation and active commuting.
Cites: Health Place. 2013 Sep;23:18-2523732403
Cites: PLoS One. 2013;8(8):e6991223967064
Cites: Am J Public Health. 2014 May;104(5):854-924625142
There is little published data on the potential health benefits of active travel in low and middle-income countries. This is despite increasing levels of adiposity being linked to increases in physical inactivity and non-communicable diseases. This study will examine: (1) socio-demographic correlates of using active travel (walking or cycling for transport) among older adults in six populous middle-income countries (2) whether use of active travel is associated with adiposity, systolic blood pressure and self-reported diabetes in these countries.
Data are from the WHO Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE) of China, India, Mexico, Ghana, Russia and South Africa with a total sample size of 40,477. Correlates of active travel (=150 min/week) were examined using logistic regression. Logistic and linear regression analyses were used to examine health related outcomes according to three groups of active travel use per week.
46.4% of the sample undertook =150 min of active travel per week (range South Africa: 21.9% Ghana: 57.8%). In pooled analyses those in wealthier households were less likely to meet this level of active travel (Adjusted Risk Ratio (ARR) 0.77, 95% Confidence Intervals 0.67; 0.88 wealthiest fifth vs. poorest). Older people and women were also less likely to use active travel for =150 min per week (ARR 0.71, 0.62; 0.80 those aged 70+ years vs. 18-29 years old, ARR 0.82, 0.74; 0.91 women vs. men). In pooled fully adjusted analyses, high use of active travel was associated with lower risk of overweight (ARR 0.71, 0.59; 0.86), high waist-to-hip ratio (ARR 0.71, 0.61; 0.84) and lower BMI (-0.54 kg/m(2), -0.98;- 0.11). Moderate (31-209 min/week) and high use (=210 min/week) of active travel was associated with lower waist circumference (-1.52 cm (-2.40; -0.65) and -2.16 cm (3.07; -1.26)), and lower systolic blood pressure (-1.63 mm/Hg (-3.19; -0.06) and -2.33 mm/Hg (-3.98; -0.69)).
In middle-income countries use of active travel for =150 min per week is more common in lower socio-economic groups and appears to confer similar health benefits to those identified in high-income settings. Efforts to increase active travel levels should be integral to strategies to maintain healthy weight and reduce disease burden in these settings.
Cites: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Feb;34(2):234-811828231
Cites: CMAJ. 2006 Oct 24;175(9):1071-717060656
Cites: Lancet. 2002 Dec 14;360(9349):1903-1312493255
Cites: Eur Heart J. 2004 Dec;25(24):2212-915589638
Cites: BMJ. 2014;349:g488725139861
Cites: Prev Med. 2008 Jan;46(1):9-1317475317
Cites: Trop Med Int Health. 2008 Oct;13(10):1225-3418937743
Cites: Lancet. 2009 Mar 28;373(9669):1083-9619299006
Cites: Lancet. 2009 Dec 5;374(9705):1930-4319942277
Cites: Circulation. 2010 Jun 1;121(21):2331-7820458016
Cites: Lancet. 2011 Feb 12;377(9765):557-6721295846
Cites: Am J Prev Med. 2011 Jul;41(1):52-6021665063
Cites: Am J Prev Med. 2012 May;42(5):493-50222516490
The purpose of this study was to estimate children's exposure to traffic (number of streets crossed) and to determine the role of exposure in pedestrian injury.
Questionnaires were distributed to a random sample of 4080 first- and fourth-grade children in 43 Montreal schools.
When analyzed by police district, injury and exposure rates were positively correlated (r2 = 0.53). Crossings were similar by sex but increased with age and were inversely related to socioeconomic status.
These results suggest that although children's exposure to traffic could be reduced by transporting them to school, a more reasonable prevention strategy involves environmental changes.
Cites: Am J Public Health. 1989 Aug;79(8):995-82751039
Cites: Ergonomics. 1974 Jul;17(4):457-804442385
Cites: Ergonomics. 1974 Sep;17(5):623-384442393
Cites: Am J Dis Child. 1985 Dec;139(12):1187-904061419
Cites: Am J Public Health. 1987 Mar;77(3):358-603812849