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IJERPH, Vol. 10, Pages 3563-3577: Travel Mode and Physical Activity at Sydney University

09 Aug 2013

How staff and students travel to university can impact their physical activity level. An online survey of physical activity and travel behaviour was conducted in early November 2012 to inform planning of physical activity and active travel promotion programs at the University of Sydney, Australia as part of the “Sit Less, Move More” sub-committee of the Healthy University Initiative, and as baseline data for evaluation. There were 3,737 useable responses, 60% of which were from students. Four out of five respondents travelled to the University on the day of interest (Tuesday, November 30, 2012). The most frequently used travel modes were train (32%), car as driver (22%), bus (17%), walking (17%) and cycling (6%). Staff were twice as likely to drive as students, and also slightly more likely to use active transport, defined as walking and cycling (26% versus 22%). Overall, 41% of respondents were sufficiently active (defined by meeting physical activity recommendations of 150 min per week). Participants were more likely to meet physical activity recommendations if they travelled actively to the University. With a high proportion of respondents using active travel modes or public transport already, increasing the physical activity levels and increasing the use of sustainable travel modes would mean a mode shift from public transport to walking and cycling for students is needed and a mode shift from driving to public transport or active travel for University staff. Strategies to achieve this are discussed.

9 August 2013

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