Understanding the relationships between private automobile availability, overall physical activity, and travel behavior in adults
- 175 Downloads
In most developed countries motorized transportation is the dominant form of travel for long and short journeys. Transport-related physical activity (TPA), however, is advocated as an appropriate transport mode for traveling short distances. The purpose of this study is to explore the associations between private automobile availability, overall physical activity levels, and TPA engagement in the adult population. A population-representative telephone survey assessed socio-demographics, private automobile availability, overall physical activity levels, and travel to place of work/study and the convenience shop with an adult sample (n = 2,000) residing in North Shore City, Auckland, New Zealand in April 2005. The majority of respondents reported unrestricted (80%) or frequent (12%) private automobile availability. After controlling for covariates, binary logistic regression analyses revealed those with no private automobile available were less likely to be classified as sufficiently active for health benefits when compared to respondents with unrestricted private automobile availability. However, this finding was based on a small minority (4%). Also, those reporting no private automobile availability were more likely to walk or cycle to place of employment and the convenience shop when compared to those with unrestricted private automobile availability. Similar to other self-report travel and physical activity survey tools, the questionnaire used potentially did not adequately capture TPA engagement. Future TPA research needs to incorporate objective measures to address this issue.
KeywordsActive transport Adults Car availability Physical activity Travel
Sport and Recreation New Zealand provided funding for the AFES. The lead author acknowledges the support of the New Zealand National Heart Foundation through the Maori Cardiovascular Research Fellowship (Grant 1104).
- Badland, H.M., Schofield, G.M.: The built environment and transport-related physical activity: what we do and do not know. J. Phys. Activity Health 2, 433–442 (2005)Google Scholar
- Badland, H.M., Schofield, G.M.: Test-retest reliability of a survey to measure transport-related physical activity in adults. Res. Q. Exerc. Sport 77, 386–390 (2006)Google Scholar
- Badland, H.M., Schofield, G.M.: Health associations with transport-related physical activity and motorized travel to destinations. Int. J. Sustain. Transport. (in press)Google Scholar
- Ball, K., Salmon, J., Giles-Corti, B., Crawford, D.: How can socio-economic differences in physical activity among women be explained? A qualitative study. Women Health 43, 93–113 (2006)Google Scholar
- Cervero, R.: Land-use mixing and suburban mobility. Transport. Q. 42, 429–446 (1988)Google Scholar
- Department of Health, Physical Activity, Health Improvement, & Promotion: At least five a week: evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health. A report from the Chief Medical Officer. Department of Health, London (2004)Google Scholar
- Frank, L.D., Green, K., Goldberg, D., Logan, G., Noel, T.: Trends, implications, and strategies for balanced growth in the Atlanta region: SMARTRAQ program synthesis report. Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta (2001)Google Scholar
- Statistics New Zealand: Census 2001. New Zealand Government, Wellington (2001)Google Scholar
- US Department Transportation and Bureau of Transportation Statistics: NHTS: highlights of the 2001 national household travel survey. US Department Transport Bureau and Transportation Statistics, Washington, DC (2003)Google Scholar
- World Health Organization: Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health. World Health Organization, Geneva (2004a)Google Scholar
- World Health Organization: Transport, environment and health (No. 89). Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization, Austria (2004b)Google Scholar