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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15626-15648; doi:10.3390/ijerph121215008

Active Commuting Behaviors in a Nordic Metropolitan Setting in Relation to Modality, Gender, and Health Recommendations

1
Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Stockholm SE-114 86, Sweden
2
Unit for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå SE-901 87, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Harry Timmermans, Astrid Kemperman and Pauline van den Berg
Received: 31 August 2015 / Revised: 24 November 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 9 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of the Built Environment on Public Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5645 KB, uploaded 23 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: walking; bicycling; commuting; distance; duration; velocity; frequency; seasonality; modality walking; bicycling; commuting; distance; duration; velocity; frequency; seasonality; modality
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Stigell, E.; Schantz, P. Active Commuting Behaviors in a Nordic Metropolitan Setting in Relation to Modality, Gender, and Health Recommendations. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 15626-15648.

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