Physical activity and sedentary behaviour are independently associated with health outcomes, where physical activity (PA) is associated with health benefits and sedentary behaviour is associated with health risks. One possible strategy to counteract sedentary behaviour is to stimulate active transport use. As monitoring studies in the Netherlands have shown that among sedentary people the proportion of adults who engage in sports (hereafter: sports practitioners) is 62.3%, sports practitioners seem a feasible target group for this strategy. Previous studies have generally reported associations between neighbourhood characteristics and active transport use. However, the neighbourhood covers only part of the route to a certain destination. Therefore, we examined the association between perceived route features and transport choice when travelling up to 7.5 kilometres to a sports facility among sports practitioners.
For 1118 Dutch sports practitioners - who indicated that they practice a sport and travel to a sports facility - age 18 and older, data on transport choice and perceived features of the route to a sports facility were gathered. Participants were classified into one of three transport groups based on their transport choice: car users, cyclists and walkers. Participants were asked whether perceived route features influenced their transport choice. Logistic regression was used to model the odds of cycling versus car use and walking versus car use in the association with perceived route features, adjusted for potential confounders.
Perceived traffic safety was associated with lower odds of cycling (OR: 0.36, 95% CI: 0.15-0.86). Perceived route duration was associated with lower odds of both cycling (OR: 0.54, 95%CI: 0.39-0.75) and walking (OR: 0.60, 95%CI: 0.36-1.00). Perceived distance to a sports facility and having to make a detour when using other transport modes than the chosen transport mode were associated with higher odds of both cycling and walking (ORrange: 1.82-5.21). What and who people encountered during their trip (i.e. visual aspects) was associated with higher odds of both cycling and walking (ORrange: 2.40-3.69).
Perceived traffic safety, duration, distance, detour, and visual aspects, when travelling to a sports facility were associated with transport choice. Therefore, the perception of route features should be considered when stimulating active transport use among sports practitioners.
- Journal Article