Patterns and predictors of changes in active commuting over 12 months

Jenna Panter, Simon Griffin, Alice M. Dalton, David Ogilvie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess the predictors of uptake and maintenance of walking and cycling, and of switching to the car as the usual mode of travel, for commuting.

Methods: 655 commuters in Cambridge, UK reported all commuting trips using a seven-day recall instrument in 2009 and 2010. Individual and household characteristics, psychological measures relating to car use and environmental conditions on the route to work were self-reported in 2009. Objective environmental characteristics were assessed using Geographical Information Systems. Associations between uptake and maintenance of commuting behaviours and potential predictors were modelled using multivariable logistic regression.

Results: Mean within-participant changes in commuting were relatively small (walking: + 3.0 min/week, s.d. = 66.7; cycling: − 5.3 min/week, s.d. = 74.7). Self-reported and objectively-assessed convenience of public transport predicted uptake of walking and cycling respectively, while convenient cycle routes predicted uptake of cycling and a pleasant route predicted maintenance of walking. A lack of free workplace parking predicted uptake of walking and alternatives to the car. Less favourable attitudes towards car use predicted continued use of alternatives to the car.

Conclusions: Improving the convenience of walking, cycling and public transport and limiting the availability of workplace car parking may promote uptake and maintenance of active commuting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-784
Number of pages9
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number6
Early online date9 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Health promotion
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Longitudinal study

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