This study examines the relationships between physical activity, travel attitudes, commute mode choice, and perceived neighborhood characteristics. A recent study found that people who walk or bike during their commute exercise more outside of the commute than do people who commute by mass transit or car. The current study seeks to explain what might account for this relationship, using ANOVA models (Method) conducted on survey data from 3 cities.
Perceived neighborhood characteristics and travel attitudes influence participants’ reported physical activity levels both during the commute and outside of the commute.
While the study does not establish causality, the results provide some support for the notion that policy makers interested in increasing physical activity levels should consider changing not only the physical environment, but also perceived neighborhood characteristics and travel attitudes.
Morckel is with the Dept of Earth and Resource Science at the University of Michigan-Flint in Flint, MI. Terzano is with the Dept of Geography and Regional Planning at Westfield State University in Westfield, MA.