247945 Gender and age differences in motivators and barriers for active commuting

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gina Besenyi, MPH , Department of Kinesiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Andrew Kaczynski, PhD , Department of Kinesiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Melissa Bopp, PhD , Dept. of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Pamela Wittman, BS , Kinesiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Background/Purpose: Active commuting (AC) can positively impact health, but there is limited research as to what influences AC. This study examined motivators and barriers for AC across gender and age groups. Methods: Data were collected from both full and part-time Manhattan, Kansas employees (n=318) via an online survey. Motivators (e.g. economic concerns) and barriers (e.g. safety) for AC were measured with 6 and 10 questions, respectively, each on a 5-point disagree-agree scale. T-tests and ANOVAs were used to compare motivators and barriers across gender (male/female) and age groups (18-29, 30-49, 50+ years). Results: For the full sample, health benefits and good weather were peak motivators for AC, while predominant barriers to AC were bad weather and time constraints. Analyses by gender revealed significant differences for most barriers, but not for any of the six motivators. For barriers, females reported higher scores than males for time constraints, traveling to other points, traffic safety, unfavorable weather, terrain, safety from crime, lack of sidewalks, health problems, others' traveling needs, and concerns about appearance. Analyses by age found that among 18-29 year olds, economic, traffic, and parking concerns were significantly greater motivators. For barriers, bad weather, safety from traffic, health problems, and the need to travel to other points were greater concerns among older age groups. Conclusion: Mitigation of AC barriers could positively influence AC, especially among females, while both reducing barriers and strengthening motivators may be successful for promoting AC across all age groups.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objective 1: Explain how active commuting can increase physical activity levels. Learning Objective 2: Identify motivators and barriers to active commuting Learning Objective 3: Name at least one possible intervention to reduce barriers or improve motivation for active commuting

Keywords: Physical Activity, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently finishing my Master of Public Health Degree focusing in physical activity and nutrition and Kansas State University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.