Online Program

Factors influencing the active commuting behaviors of u.s. department of the interior employees

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

David Paul, PhD, Movement Sciences/Bioregional Planning and Community Design, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
Philip Cook, M.S., Policy Analysis Group and Park Studies Unit, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
Steven Hollenhorst, PhD, Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
Michael Lowry, PhD, College of Engineering, University of Idaho, Moscow
One approach to promote physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviors is to encourage employees to choose active commuting (AC) modes to work. However, effective means to promote AC is limited by a lack of understanding of reasons why individuals choose AC modes. A commuting-to-work behavior survey was sent to 50,045 permanent full-time employees of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The respondents were grouped into five categories: non-active commuting (NAC), active walking (AW), active biking (AB), mixed-mode active walking (MAW), and mixed-mode active biking (MAB). All categories except NAC were considered AC modes. Logistic regression was utilized to examine the characteristics that predicted respondents that chose AC modes. Of the 25,352 responses received (50.7% response rate), 2,305 (9.1%) reported using AC modes. Distance, age, gender, and workplace location were all significant predictors of AC (all P<0.001). Employees who lived farther from work were significantly less likely to choose AC modes for all categories except MAB. Females were less likely to choose AC modes, except for MAW. Employees working in metro workplaces were more likely to choose AC modes for all categories. Age was a significant predictor of AC for AW and AB, but not of MAW and MAB. Overall, respondents who lived closer to work, were aged 31-40 and male, and worked in metro locations were most likely to choose AC modes. These results provide insight into how large organizations could target interventions and policy strategies that increase the physical activity of their employees by the promotion of AC modes.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
Describe the determinants of active commuting behaviors

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting physical activity research for 13 years
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.