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Assessment of active commuting behaviour: walking and bicycling in Greater Stockholm
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences. (erik.stigell@gih.se)
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Walking and bicycling to work, active commuting, can contribute to sustainable mobility and provide regular health-enhancing physical activity for individuals. Our knowledge of active commuting behaviours in general and in different mode and gender groups in particular is limited. Moreover, the validity and reproducibility of the methods to measure the key variables of the behaviours are uncertain. The aims of this thesis is to explore gender and mode choice differences in commuting behaviours in terms of distance, duration, velocity and trip frequency, of a group of adult commuters in Greater Stockholm, Sweden, and furthermore to develop a criterion method for distance measurements and to assess the validity of four other distance measurement methods. We used one sample of active commuters recruited by advertisements, n = 1872, and one street-recruited sample, n = 140. Participants received a questionnaire and a map to draw their commuting route on. The main findings of the thesis were, firstly, that the map-based method could function as a criterion method for active commuting distance measurements and, secondly, that four assessed distance measurement methods – straight-line distance, GIS, GPS and self-report – differed significantly from the criterion method. Therefore, we recommend the use of correction factors to compensate for the systematic over- and underestimations. We also found three distinctly different modality groups in both men and women with different behaviours in commuting distance, duration and trip frequency. These groups were commuters who exclusively walk or bicycle the whole way to work, and dual mode commuters who switch between walking and cycling. These mode groups accrued different amounts of activity time for commuting. Through active commuting per se, the median pedestrian and dual mode commuters met or were close to the recommended physical activity level of 150 minutes per week during most months of the year, whereas the single mode cyclists did so only during the summer half of the year.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2011. , 137 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Sport Sciences, ISSN 1654-7535 ; 12
Keyword [en]
walking, cycling, commuting, validity, reproducibility, distance, duration, velocity, frequency, seasonality
National Category
Health Sciences Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-16372ISBN: 978-91-7668-805-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-16372DiVA: diva2:431226
Public defence
2011-09-22, Örebro universitet, Hörsal G, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-07-18 Created: 2011-07-18 Last updated: 2011-10-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A criterion method for measuring route distance in physically active commuting
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A criterion method for measuring route distance in physically active commuting
2009 (English)In: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, ISSN 0195-9131, E-ISSN 1530-0315, Vol. 41, no 2, 472-478 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose:

There is a need for accurate, reliable, and feasible methods for determining route distances in physically active transportation. The aim of this study, therefore, was to scrutinize if distances of commuting routes drawn by physically active commuters and measured with a digital curvimetric distance measurement device could serve such a purpose.

Methods:

Participants were recruited when walking or bicycling in the inner urban area of Stockholm, Sweden. Questionnaires and individually adjusted maps were sent twice to the participants (n = 133). Commuting routes from home to work were drawn on the maps. These were measured using a digital curvimetric distance measurer that was carefully controlled for validity and reproducibility. Marked points of origin and destination were checked for validity and reproducibility using stated addresses and address geocoding systems. Nineteen participants were followed with a global positioning system (GPS) to control for validity of drawn routes. An analysis of the effect on distance measurements of any deviations between GPS route tracings and drawn routes was undertaken.

Results:

No order effects were noted on distance measurements, and the test-retest intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.999 (P ≤ 0.001). The map markings of route origins and destinations were accurate and reproducible. GPS tracings of actual commuting routes taken (n = 19) as displayed in six cases had slight deviations from the routes drawn by the commuters on maps. However, these deviations played an insubstantial role (0.4%) for the distances measured.

Conclusion:

When physically active commuters draw their commuting routes on maps, they create a valid and reproducible basis for route distance measurements. In combination with an accurate digital curvimetric distance-measuring device, a potential criterion method for measuring the commuting route distance is established.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009
Keyword
validity, reproducibility, walking, bicycling, curvimeter, gps
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-16508 (URN)10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181877aaf (DOI)000262601200027 ()19151593 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-65449167530 (Scopus ID)
Note

Erik Stigell is also affiliated with Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment

Available from: 2011-08-11 Created: 2011-08-11 Last updated: 2017-03-14Bibliographically approved
2. Methods for determining route distances in active commuting: their validity and reproducibility
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Methods for determining route distances in active commuting: their validity and reproducibility
2011 (English)In: Journal of Transport Geography, ISSN 0966-6923, E-ISSN 1873-1236, Vol. 19, no 4, 563-574 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Distance is a variable of pivotal importance in transport studies. Therefore, after checking the validity of a potential criterion method for measuring active commuting route distances, this method was used to assess the validity and reproducibility of four methods of approximating the commuting route distances covered by pedestrians and bicyclists. The methods assessed were: self-estimated distance, straight-line distance, GIS shortest-route distance, and GPS-measured distance. For this purpose, participants were recruited when walking or bicycling in Stockholm, Sweden. Questionnaires and individually-adjusted maps were sent twice to 133 participants. The distances of map-drawn commuting routes functioned as criterion distances. The participants were also asked to estimate their distances. The straight-line distance between origin and destination was measured using map-drawn routes. The shortest route between home addresses and workplace addresses was calculated with three GIS algorithms. Eighty-six trips were measured with GPS. The main results were that test–retest intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) exceeded 0.99 for all methods, except for self-estimated distance (ICC = 0.76). No ordereffects existed between test and retest. Significant differences were, however, noted between criterion distance and self-estimated distance (114 ± 63%), straight-line distance (79.1 ± 10.5%), GIS shortest route (112 ± 18 to 121 ± 22%) and GPS distance (105 ± 4%). We conclude that commonly-used distance estimation methods produce systematic errors of differing magnitudes when used in a context of active commuting in suburban and urban environments. These errors can at average level be corrected for, whereas individual relative errors will remain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2011
Keyword
walking, cycling, commuting, distance, validity, reproducibility
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-16510 (URN)10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2010.06.006 (DOI)000292427700010 ()2-s2.0-79957455375 (Scopus ID)
Note

Erik Stigell is also affiliated with Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment

Available from: 2011-08-11 Created: 2011-08-11 Last updated: 2017-02-09Bibliographically approved
3. Active commuting behaviours in a metropolitan setting: distance, duration, velocity and frequency in relation to mode choice and gender
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Active commuting behaviours in a metropolitan setting: distance, duration, velocity and frequency in relation to mode choice and gender
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background

Knowledge concerning active commuting behaviours is meagre. Therefore, we have previously developed a criterion method for measuring commuting distance. Here we study the reliability of selfreported duration, red-light stops, velocity and weekly trip frequency per month over the year. We also assess all these variables in men and women, walking or cycling the whole way from home to work or school in a metropolitan setting.

Methods

Test-retest reproducibility was studied in a street-recruited sample of adult commuters in Greater Stockholm, Sweden (n = 70). Another group of adult commuters was recruited via advertisements in two newspapers (n = 1872). They all received a questionnaire and individually adjusted maps to draw their normal commuting route.

Results

The reproducibility of the different variables varied from moderate to almost perfect. Three different modality groups were identified in both men and women. The median durations of single mode commutes varied between 25 and 30 minutes. Single mode pedestrians had a high weekly trip frequency over the year, 7 to 8 trips, and a median distance of 2.3 km. The median single mode bicyclist did not cycle during the winter, but had a high weekly trip frequency, 6 to 9 trips, during the summer period, with a distance of 9 km for men and 6.7 for women. The distances of dual mode commuters, who alternately walk and cycle, were about 2.8 km. Their weekly cycle trip frequency mimicked the single mode cyclists‘. Primarily during the winter they substituted cycling with walking. Through the active commuting per se, the median single mode pedestrians and dual mode commuters met or were close to the recommended weekly physical activity levels of 150 minutes per week most of the year, whereas the single mode cyclists did so only during the summer half of the year. Some gender differences were observed in distances and velocities.

Conclusions

Distinctly different types of active commuting behaviours exist in a metropolitan setting and depend on mode choice and gender. Future studies on active transport are recommended to assess both walking and cycling over the whole year.

Keyword
walking, bicycling, commuting, distance, duration, velocity, frequency, seasonality
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-16404 (URN)
Note

The article is submitted to International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISSN 1479-5868) Erik Stigell is also affiliated with Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment

Available from: 2011-07-27 Created: 2011-07-27 Last updated: 2016-12-12Bibliographically approved

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