Incorporating walking or cycling into car journeys to and from work: the role of individual, workplace and environmental characteristics

Jenna Panter, Carol Desousa, David Ogilvie
Preventive Medicine 2013, 56 (3-4): 211-7

OBJECTIVE: Small increases in walking or cycling for transport could contribute to population health improvement. We explore the individual, workplace and environmental characteristics associated with the incorporation of walking and cycling into car journeys.

METHODS: In 2009, participants from the Commuting and Health in Cambridge study (UK) reported transport modes used on the commute in the last week as well as individual, workplace and environmental characteristics. Logistic regression was used to assess the explanatory variables associated with incorporating walking or cycling into car commuting journeys.

RESULTS: 31% of car commuters (n=419, mean age 43.3 years, SD 0.3) regularly incorporated walking or cycling into their commute. Those without access to car parking at work (OR: 26.0, 95% CI:11.8 to 57.2) and who reported most supportive environments for walking and cycling en route to work (highest versus lowest tertile, OR: 2.7, 95% CI 1.4 to 5.5) were more likely to incorporate walking or cycling into their car journeys.

CONCLUSIONS: Interventions that provide pleasant and convenient routes, limit or charge for workplace car parking and provide free off-site car parking may encourage car commuters to incorporate walking and cycling into car journeys. The effects of such interventions remain to be evaluated.

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