Interactions Between the Built Environment and Domain-Specific Transportation Physical Activity: Evidence from the 2017 NHTS
Theodore Mansfield, RSGShow Abstract
The role of the built environment in increasing physical activity by supporting increased walking and biking has received considerable attention. However, less is known regarding how the built environment influences active travel for different purposes and how effects may vary between populations with different health statuses. This paper uses evidence from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey, including new questions on health and physical activity, to explore these questions. In the aggregate, this work finds strong associations between population density and likelihood of meeting physical activity recommendations put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through utilitarian walking (OR: 1.32, 1.50, and 2.82 for 1,000-3,999, 4,000-9,999, and >10,000 persons/mi2 relative to <1,000 persons/mi2) and utilitarian cycling (OR: 1.91, 2.47, and 3.89 for 1,000-3,999, 4,000-9,999, and >10,000 persons/mi2). Additional findings suggest that relationships between the built environment and walking and biking exists across populations reporting differing health status for utilitarian trips but not for recreational trips. Built environment interventions to increase transportation physical activity should focus on different domains (recreational vs. utilitarian) in different contexts. Additionally, improved understanding of how built environment interventions may affect active transportation for different sub-populations supports improved quantitative estimates of the health impacts of such interventions.
Transportation's Impact on Community Quality of Life and Life Satisfaction in the United States
Jeremy Mattson, Upper Great Plains Transportation InstituteShow Abstract
Jonathan Brooks, LINK Houston
Ranjit Godavarthy, North Dakota State University
Luca Quadrifoglio, Texas A&M University
Jitendra Jain, Texas A&M University
Chris Simek, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Ipek Sener, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Jill Hough, North Dakota State University
This study examines the impacts of a community’s transportation system on its quality of life. Other key livability factors are also identified, and their impacts on community quality of life are estimated. These livability indicators are categorized into four main dimensions: social, physical/climate, functional, and safety. The study also examines the impacts of community quality of life on overall life satisfaction for an individual. Data were obtained from a nationwide livability survey. Survey data were analyzed using ordered probit models. The first model estimates ease of travel as a function of community transportation characteristics and individual characteristics. The second model estimates community quality of life as a function of the quality of the livability indicators. The final model estimates life satisfaction as a function of community quality of life and other factors. Transit quality, the conditions of roads, congestion, and traffic safety were all found to have significant impacts on ease of travel. Ease of travel and walkability, among other factors, are found to impact community quality of life. Results also show the positive impact that community quality of life has on overall life satisfaction. Responses from non-metro areas were analyzed separately to determine if relationships differ in smaller communities.
Physical Activity of Electric Bicycle Users Compared to Conventional Bicycle Users and Non-Cyclists: Insights Based on Health and Transport Data from an Online Survey in Seven European Cities
Alberto Castro, University of ZurichShow Abstract
Mailin Gaupp-Berhausen, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
Evi Dons, Flemish Institute for Technological Research
Arnout Standaert, Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO); Mol, Belgium
Michelle Laeremans, Flemish Institute for Technological Research
Anna Clark, Trivector; Lund, Sweden
Esther Anaya, Imperial College London
Tom Cole-Hunter, IS Global; Barcelona, Spain
Ione Avila-Palencia, IS Global; Barcelona, Spain
David Rojas-Rueda, IS Global; Barcelona, Spain
Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, IS Global; Barcelona, Spain
Regine Gerike, Technische Universität Dresden
Luc Int Panis, Flemish Institute for Technological Research
Audrey de Nazelle, Imperial College London
Christian Brand, University of Oxford
Elisabeth Raser, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
Sonja Kahlmeier, University of Zurich
Thomas Götschi, University of Zurich
Physical activity has been widely associated with beneficial health effects. The use of electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes) can lead to increased or decreased physical activity, depending on the transport mode substituted. This study compared e-bikers and conventional bicycle users (cyclists) in terms of transport-related physical activity, trip and user characteristics. Further, e-bikers were stratified into groups who substituted private motorized vehicle, public transport and (conventional) bicycle trips with e-bike. Data from the longitudinal, on-line survey of PASTA project were used. The survey recruited over 10 000 participants in seven European cities (Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Oerebro, Rome, Vienna and Zurich). Participants filled out a detailed baseline and multiple short follow-up questionnaires over a period of up to two years. Physical activity level, measured in Metabolic Equivalent Task minutes per week (MET min/wk), was similar among e-bikers and cyclists (4 463 vs. 4 085). E-bikers reported significant longer trip distances for both e-bike (9.4 km) and bicycle trips (8.4 km) compared to cyclists for bicycles (4.8 km), as well as longer daily travel distances by cycling modes (8.0 vs. 5.3 km per person, per day, respectively). Travel-related activities of e-bikers who switched from cycling decreased by around 200 MET min/wk, while those switching from private motorized vehicle and public transport gained around 550 and 800 MET min/wk respectively. Therefore, this data suggests that the uptake of e-bike use contributes to increase physical activity level of users, while the final effect size depends on the combined use of e-bike with other active modes.
Geo-Spatial Site Suitability Analysis for Development of Health Care Units in Rural India: Effects on Habitation Accessibility, Facility Utilization, and Zonal Equity in Facility Distribution
Sushreeta Mishra, University of ManitobaShow Abstract
Prasanta Sahu, Birla Institute of Technology and Science
Ashoke Sarkar, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
Babak Mehran, University of Manitoba
Satish Sharma, University of Regina
The development of health care facilities in a nation improves the quality of life of its citizens, and enhances their efficiency and productivity; eventually, reducing poverty. This paper proposed a methodology that uses GIS and multi-criteria decision-making technique for development of health care units (HCUs), to attain spatial efficiency in distribution of facilities. The methodology assigns spatial weightage to the suitability index of the candidate locations in the objective function of maximize coverage location-allocation problem embedded in ArcGIS. Habitations unserved by the existing HCUs are considered as candidate locations. The five criteria considered to determine the suitability index of a location are: Access distance to nearest existing HCU (C1), Accessibility index of habitations to existing HCUs based on service to population ratio (C2), Connectivity to all-weather roads (C3), Population of neighborhood (C4), and Health care requirement of a zone (C5). The proposed methodology is applied in Jhunjhunu district, India as a case study, for the development of Community Health Centers (CHCs). Accessibility of habitation to facilities (jointly C1, C2, and C3) found to be the most influencing criteria in deciding the suitability of a candidate location to site the CHCs. The proposed methodology enables maximization of coverage, minimization of needless competition within CHCs, and satisfaction of zonal requirement for health. Study findings would be helpful to national policymakers for developing HCUs by prioritizing fund allocation to shortage areas to improve the health index as well as quality of life.
Children’s Independent Mobility and Social Media Use on Face-to-Face Social Interaction with Friends
E. Owen Waygood, Ecole Polytechnique de MontrealShow Abstract
Lars Olsson, Karlstad University
Ayako Taniguchi, University of Tsukuba
Margareta Friman, Karlstad University
Social interaction with friends is an important contributor to children’s well-being, but how transport affects this is rarely studied. For two or more children (not of the same household) to have social interaction where they are physically present (i.e. face-to-face), requires at least one of them to make a trip. Qualitative work has found that children mention the possibility to socialize with friends as a desirable attribute of independent travel, and independent travel is associated with knowing where to find friends. However, little is known quantitatively. Thus, the first objective of this article is to examine whether general travel patterns and licenses to travel independently relate to face-to-face interaction. Further, children in this era have new tools of communication that were not available widely in previous generations. Are those tools being used to replace face-to-face interaction? Would it be more likely that replacement would occur if children’s independence was restricted? Thus, a second objective is to examine whether virtual social interaction affects face-to-face social interaction. And finally, is there any influence of travel patterns and licences on virtual interaction? The findings suggest that virtual social interaction may be complementary to face-to-face interaction and that being allowed to travel independently increases those physically present social interactions.
Validating the Satisfaction with Travel Scale as a Measure of Hedonic Subjective Well-Being for Commuting in a U.S. City
Patrick Singleton, Utah State UniversityShow Abstract
The relationships between transportation and well-being are of increasing interest to researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. Psychological scales exist for measuring subjective well-being (SWB), but these instruments have rarely been applied to the travel domain. The Satisfaction with Travel Scale (STS) has been developed as a nine-item measure of travel-related hedonic SWB, capturing positive and negative affect (emotions) and cognitive evaluations of overall satisfaction associated with personal transportation. Although the STS has been applied in an increasing number of studies, questions regarding its structure and validity remain. This research used a survey of 654 commuters in the Portland, Oregon, area to investigate the measurement properties of a slightly modified version of the STS. Confirmatory factor analysis suggested a three-factor structure—composed of positive deactivation, positive activation, and cognitive evaluation—that matches some previous results and SWB theory; a model with a single second-order factor also fit the data. Tests of measurement invariance across three travel modes (automobile, transit, and walk/bicycle) found that the STS exhibited configural and perhaps weak but not strong factorial invariance; non-motorized commuters tended to have more positive scores. Future research can continue to refine the STS items and wordings, test the scale in various geographic and travel contexts, and examine relationships between SWB and travel behavior.
Psychosocial Benefits and Mood Improvement from Habitual Bicycle Use
Sigal Kaplan, Hebrew University of JerusalemShow Abstract
Dagmara Krystina Wrzesinska, Catholic University of Louvain Voie
Carlo Prato, University of Queensland
Shifting from car to bicycle use would go a long way towards building healthier and more sustainable communities, but this shift rarely comes to fruition although plenty of studies show that solutions should make it possible after analysing travel choices under the lens of utility maximisation models. This study draws from existing research focusing on the psychosocial benefits of car use by posing the question about whether cycling could contribute to the formation of positive physical, social, and self-actualisation concepts. A survey was administered to 1131 inhabitants of the Brisbane area in Australia to elicit their socioeconomic traits and travel habits, as well as to measure self-concepts related to self-realisation and the relation between cycling and mood. Structural equation modelling explored the system of relations between observed characteristics and unobserved traits, and revealed that there exists a positive relation between bicycle use and self-realisation on physical, psychological, social and growth dimensions. Moreover, results suggest that cycling has the potential of a direct and indirect contribution to the improvement of mood in individuals, and that this contribution relates to a certain stage in life. The findings from this study suggest that cycling can be made more convenient, attractive and appealing by providing insights into self-actualisation being realised by owning and pedalling a bicycle and looking into the effect of providing customised information about the psychosocial benefits of sustainable travel modes within travel feedback programs.
Does Walking and Bicycling More Mean Exercising Less?: Evidence from the United States and the Netherlands
Rachael Panik, Toole Design GroupShow Abstract
Eric Morris, Clemson University
Carole Voulgaris, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Active travel (AT), such as utilitarian walking and bicycling, may address public health challenges such as obesity and poor cardiovascular health if increased AT results in an increase in overall physical activity. However, it is possible that AT may substitute for other forms of exercise, because time in the day is limited and AT time may crowd out exercise time, because people who travel actively may see less need to get other forms of exercise for health purposes, or because AT causes fatigue that discourages other forms of exercise. We investigate this question using time use data from the American Time Use Survey and the Dutch Tijdsbestedingsonderzoek. We utilize Cragg two-part hurdle models to explore 1) demographic determinants of time spent on active travel, and 2) demographic determinants of exercise time, with the time spent on active travel as the independent variable of interest. In both data sets, we find that time spent exercising is statistically independent of time spent engaging in active travel. Thus it appears active travel does not substitute for other forms of exercise and thus adds to total daily physical activity, with the health benefits that may flow from this.
Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity Levels Negatively Correlate with Traffic-Related Air Pollutants in Children with Asthma Attending a School Near a Freeway
Juan Aguilera, University of Texas, El PasoShow Abstract
Soyoung Jeon, University of Texas, El Paso
Amit U Raysoni, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley
Adan Rangel, University of Texas, El Paso
Leah Whigham, University of Texas, El Paso
Wen-Whai Li, University of Texas, El Paso
Epidemiologic studies have established linkages between adverse health effects and traffic air pollution. People with asthma are more likely adversely affected by traffic emissions, particularly young children. Studies showed regular exercise reduces asthma exacerbation and improves lung function. However, few studies have looked at the physical activity and air quality relationship. An air pollution and physical activity study was conducted to develop healthy living guidelines for children attending a school near a freeway. Twelve children (ages 6-12 years) participated in a repeated measures study at a school in El Paso, TX. Air pollutants (PM2.5, PM10, NO2, and O3) were continuously measured at the school and we measured rates of physical activity by accelerometry weekly for 10 weeks. In addition, we collected baseline data on medical status and weekly data using the Asthma Control Questionnaire. Generalized estimating equations approaches showed that school pollutant concentrations of PM2.5, PM10, and NO2 were negatively associated with moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (PM concentrations: p<0.001; NO2: p=0.036), whereas they were positively associated with sedentary activity (PM concentrations: p<0.001; NO2: p=0.019). 72-hr maximum ozone data were associated with decreased rate in MVPA (p=0.001). Higher levels of traffic pollution correlate with lower levels of physical activity in children with asthma. Short-term guidelines in response to these results include pollutant mitigation measures (e.g. placement of natural barriers) followed by reassessment of the air quality and physical activity of the children. Long-term guidelines include recommendations to build future schools at locations farther from high-traffic.
Does Daily Commuting Matter to Employee Productivity?
Liang Ma, RMIT UniversityShow Abstract
Runing Ye, University of Melbourne
This study is the first of its kind to explore the relationship between commuting and employee productivity by drawing theories from multiple disciplines and empirical evidence from three Australian cities. Relying on a survey data from three major cities in Australia, this study finds that commuting distance is positively associated with absenteeism. This study also finds a positive association between active commuting (i.e., travel to work by walking or bicycling) and job performance in adults aged 35-54. The structural equation model further explored possible causal pathways from commuting to job productivity, and the results confirm that commuting mode choice could influence job performance through affecting commuting satisfaction, while commuting distance directly influences absenteeism and indirectly affects job performance via commuting satisfaction. Overall, these findings support that commuting behaviors of employees influence their workplace performance. Encourage active commuting not only improves physical health of employees, but also enhances their job performance, contributing to economic benefits to employers.
Exploring the Non-Linear Relationship Between Built Environment Characteristics and People’s Active Travel
Tao Tao, University of Minnesota, Twin CitiesShow Abstract
Xinyi Wu, University of Minnesota
Xinyu Cao, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Yingling Fan, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Active travel is important to people’s health and the environment. Previous studies substantiate the relationship between built environment features and active travel. However, most fail to assess the overall contribution of the built environment and assume that the built environment has a linear association with active travel. In this research, we used the gradient boosting method to explore the non-linear relationships between built environment features and active travel in the Twin Cities. The results show that built environment characteristics have a great impact on people’s daily active travel. Park and local land use variables have slightly larger influences than other built environment features. We also confirmed non-linear relationships between built environment variables and active travel. Using these relationships, we proposed a design guideline to promote active travel through changing the built environment.
Examining the Relationships of Subjective Well-Being with Travel Behavior, the Built Environment, and Lifestyle Preferences
Stephen McCarthy, Dalhousie UniversityShow Abstract
Muhammad Habib, Dalhousie University
This study investigates the relationships between subjective well-being (SWB) on the one hand, and travel behaviour, the built environment and lifestyle preferences on the other hand. SWB is measured in terms of life satisfaction, health status and stress level through a household-based travel survey administered in Nova Scotia, Canada. The study develops random parameter ordered probit models to capture the effects of unobserved heterogeneity. The parameter estimates suggest that physical activeness, vehicle ownership and participation in different types of activities are associated with SWB. The results reveal a tension between the detrimental effects of time spent in a vehicle and the importance of vehicles in facilitating mobility. The built environment and lifestyle preferences also affect SWB. For instance, people living in areas with a higher share of apartment density tend to be more satisfied and have less stress, indicating the positive influence of activity opportunities in dense areas. Similarly, community-mindedness, a measure derived from the factor analysis of lifestyle preference statements of the survey, indicates positive life satisfaction and health status. However, the results show considerable heterogeneity in this case as evident in statistically significant standard deviations. The findings of this study provide important behavioural insights and policy directions for health community planning.
Health Care Transportation Services: Policy Shifts and the Influence of Shared Mobility
Mary Wolfe, University of North Carolina, Chapel HillShow Abstract
Noreen McDonald, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Transportation barriers prevent millions of people from accessing healthcare every year. As the healthcare market moves towards value-based arrangements, treatment adherence is critical. Across the country, care providers are partnering with shared mobility services such as Uber and Lyft to establish new ways for patients to travel to and from medical appointments. We conducted a nationwide scan to catalogue the current landscape of these innovative healthcare mobility services. Ridehailing options are being incorporated in electronic health record workflows of clinicians and they are becoming a part of the choice set for patients through formal partnerships between ridehailing companies and healthcare providers. The on-demand nature of rides and integration of ride requests and payment options appears to be the strongest driver of these innovations. While new partnerships and companies continue emerge in healthcare mobility services, it is important for both healthcare providers and transportation providers to evaluate programs to ensure that they are accessible to the most vulnerable patient populations.
Unfolding the Dynamics of Transit Users' Satisfaction and Emotions: A Multi-Week Smartphone Study
Huyen Le, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityShow Abstract
Andre Carrel, Ohio State University
Travel well-being, which has a direct effect on a person's overall subjective well-being, encompasses three dimensions: Cognitive judgments of satisfaction, positive emotions, and negative emotions. Most previous transit literature has focused either on satisfaction or emotions, generally in static contexts. Using a panel data set collected over several weeks from transit users in San Francisco, this study explores the dynamics of satisfaction and emotions. First, emotions and satisfaction experienced during travel are compared to measurements from retrospective surveys conducted at the beginning and the end of the study. Average levels of negative emotions are found to be lower on a daily basis than in retrospective surveys, and the latter align more with the highest reported level of negative emotion. Second, a dynamic panel model is estimated to determine how daily satisfaction is affected by emotions on that day and by satisfaction and emotions on the previous day. Lagged effects are found, suggesting that dissatisfaction and emotions experienced while riding transit may carry over to the following day, with the effects of satisfaction and emotions having opposite signs. Third, retrospective emotions for transit travel and car travel are compared. It is found that car travel often evokes higher positive emotions and lower negative emotions, however car trips are also more frustrating and stressful. The study provides evidence for the dynamic relationship between satisfaction and emotions. It also illustrates the need to enhance satisfaction and well-being of transit riders, who are often found to be the least satisfied among all transport users.
Association Between Residential Self-Selection and Non-Residential Built Environment Exposures
Nicholas Araki Howell, University of TorontoShow Abstract
Steven Farber, University of Toronto
Michael Widener, University of Toronto
Jeff Allen, University of Toronto
Gillian L Booth, University of Toronto
Background Studies employing ‘activity space’ measures of the built environment, which incorporate information about individuals’ locations across days or weeks, have become more prevalent in the built environment and transportation literature. However, these studies have not always accounted for how individuals self-select into different residential and non-residential environments when testing associations between environmental properties like walkability and activities like walking. To date, no study has examined whether preferences for walkable residential neighborhoods (i.e. self-selection factors) predict exposure to other walkable locations in non-residential activity spaces and confound associations with walking activity. Objective To assess the association between residential self-selection factors and exposure to walkable non-residential environments and further examine whether residential self-selection factors confound associations between non-residential walkability exposures and walking behavior. Methodology Using a sample of 9485 university students from Toronto, Canada, we assessed individuals’ reasons for selecting their residential neighborhoods (self-selection), their time spent walking, and locations visited over 24 h. We measured the walkability of each location visited using a validated index that has previously been associated with transportation behaviors and physical activity. We then tested the association between self-selection factors, non-residential walkability, and time spent walking using multiple regression. Findings We found that individuals who self-selected into walkable residential neighborhoods had higher exposures to walkable non-residential environments (β = 0.42, 95% CI = 0.37, 0.47), and further that these preferences confounded associations between non-residential walkability and time spent walking (reduction in association = 10.5%). Conclusion These results suggest that self-selection factors may affect studies of non-residential built environment exposures.