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Active commuting behaviours in a metropolitan setting: distance, duration, velocity and frequency in relation to mode choice and gender
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences. (The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment)
(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.

Keywords [en]
walking, bicycling, commuting, distance, duration, velocity, frequency, seasonality
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-16404OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-16404DiVA, id: diva2:431931
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: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Assessment of active commuting behaviour: walking and bicycling in Greater Stockholm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessment of active commuting behaviour: walking and bicycling in Greater Stockholm
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. p. 137
Series
Örebro Studies in Sport Sciences, ISSN 1654-7535 ; 12
Keywords
walking, cycling, commuting, validity, reproducibility, distance, duration, velocity, frequency, seasonality
National Category
Health Sciences Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-16372 (URN)978-91-7668-805-2 (ISBN)
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: 2018-05-03Bibliographically approved

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