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Title: Towards an understanding of the influences on active commuting
Author: Panter, Jenna Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 1409
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2010
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Whilst physical activity is widely acknowledged as being beneficial to health, few adults or children are sufficiently active. This is despite the recognition that activities such as walking or cycling to work or school, otherwise known as ‘active commuting’, can be integrated into daily life and may contribute towards overall levels of physical activity. As a result, understanding the underlying influences on active commuting behaviour is important if interventions are to be developed to promote it. This thesis addresses the gap in knowledge surrounding the influences on active commuting behaviour by examining the correlates of this behaviour in children and adults from the county of Norfolk in the East of England. Existing research exploring the environmental influences on walking and cycling for transport in children is reviewed and a conceptual framework of these influences is presented. Three studies are then presented which investigate key areas relating to active commuting in primary schoolchildren; the first assesses its contribution to physical activity, whilst the second and third explore the influence of objectively measured and perceived social and physical environmental characteristics on active commuting. Building on the work in children, the research subsequently reviews the existing literature around the environmental and psychological influences on active commuting in adults, and examines these associations in a sample of older working adults. The results from this research suggest that although a greater number of environmental characteristics were associated with children’s active commuting than adults, distance to work or school was an important predictor for both. In addition, habits for walking and cycling were strong predictors of adults’ active commuting. These findings indicate that the development of positive attitudes and habits towards walking or cycling as well as the provision of supportive environments may encourage active commuting behaviour. However, the efficacy of such interventions is unknown.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available