Background The number of trips of the average urban inhabitant per year has grown steadily in recent years – but we are actually moving (our bodies) less. Every day, millions of trips are made by car (where 50% of these are less than 5 km) or other motorised private vehicles as well as with public transport, while only a small percentage of trips are made by active modes, such as cycling and walking. This lack of physical activity causes major health problems for individuals and great economic costs for society as a whole. To reverse these negative impacts the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week (e.g. 30 minutes 5 times per week). Replacing short motorized trips can feasibly increase physical activity in everyday life. Methods PASTA “Physical Activity trough sustainable transport approaches” collected data in a longitudinal web-based survey with a cohort design to study the effects of active mobility on overall physical activity and health. The target population for the survey was the entire adult population in 7 European Cities. In total, more than 12.000 people participated in the survey with half of them filling in valid travel diaries on actual trips on a regular basis. Results Differences in sociodemographics and travel behaviour of cyclists in the seven cities will be shown in the paper. Preliminary results reveal that more than 2.000 participants from the total sample can be identified as regular cyclists (reported in their trip diaries) with an average age of 40 years. Most of them are highly educated and full time employed. In comparison to non-regular cyclists, the share of female is lower; however the share of people who have a driving licence and who have at least sometimes access to a car is higher within the group of cyclists. About 85% of regular cyclists reach at least 30 cycling-minutes per reported day. This indicates that a high share of regular cyclists can reach the WHO´s recommended level only by routine cycling trips. Further the threshold of reaching the minimum recommendation by cycling will be analysed between the cities. Conclusions In this study, we compare cyclists and their travel behaviour in seven European cities. Our first results indicate, that cycling as a mean of transport can help reach the WHO’s physical activity recommendations and including physical activity into daily life without much of extra effort.
Document type: Article
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DOIS: 10.1016/j.jth.2018.02.006 10.5167/uzh-151958
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