Active commuting provides routine-based regular physical activity which can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Using public transportation involves some walking or cycling to a transit stop, transfers and a walk to the end location and users of public transportation have been found to accumulate more moderate physical activity than non-users. Understanding how public transportation characteristics are associated with active transportation is thus important from a public health perspective. This study examines the associations between objective measures of access to public transportation and self-reported active commuting. Self-reported time spent either walking or cycling commuting each day and the distance to workplace were obtained for adults aged 16 to 65 in the Danish National Health Survey 2010 (n = 28,928). Access to public transportation measures were computed by combining GIS-based road network distances from home address to public transit stops an integrating their service level. Multilevel logistic regression was used to examine the association between access to public transportation measures and active commuting. Distance to bus stop, density of bus stops, and number of transport modes were all positively associated with being an active commuter and with meeting recommendations of physical activity. No significant association was found between bus services at the nearest stop and active commuting. The results highlight the importance of including detailed measurements of access to public transit in order to identify the characteristics that facilitate the use of public transportation and active commuting.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2014, Vol 11, Issue 12, p. 12632-12651
GIS analyses; Public Health; Public transportation; Journal Article