A Case Study Exploring Associations of Quality of Life Measures with Car and Active Transport Commute Modes in Sydney

  • Nicholas Petrunoff
  • Melanie Crane
  • Chris RisselEmail author
Part of the Applying Quality of Life Research book series (BEPR)


Several dimensions of commuting influence perceived stress, such as impedance (a measure of distance and time which is impacted by the number of transport nodes), and control over and predictability of commuting. Research into commuting mode and stress has generated mixed results. The case study in this chapter used baseline survey data from a 3-year workplace travel plan intervention. Workplace travel plans aim to promote active and sustainable forms of transport and reduce driving to work. An on-line cross-sectional survey of staff travel behaviour was conducted in September 2011 at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney, Australia. A total of 675 respondents provided data on the items of interest for this analysis (travel behaviour, self-reported stress, occupation type, demographics). Approximately one in six respondents (15%) actively commuted to work (walking 4%, cycling 2% or using public transport 9%). There was a large (15%) difference between active commuters’ (10.1%) and drivers’ (25%) perceptions that the commute to work was more stressful than the rest of their day that remained statistically significant (adjusted odds ratio 0.35, 95% confidence interval 0.17–0.73) after adjusting for factors including gender, age, physical activity levels and occupational type (clinical vs non-clinical). These findings support international research which has shown that active travel to work may be less stressful than car commuting.


Active travel Bicycling Walking Travel planning Physical activity Stress Quality of life Health promotion 



We wish to convey our appreciation to members of the South Western Sydney and Sydney Health Promotion Services, who supported implementation of the main intervention study. Thanks also to the executives and staff from Liverpool Hospital in Sydney, who supported the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Petrunoff
    • 1
  • Melanie Crane
    • 1
  • Chris Rissel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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