Peer Reviewed: Association of Workplace Supports With Active Commuting

Department of Kinesiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.
Preventing chronic disease (Impact Factor: 2.12). 11/2010; 7(6):A127.
Source: PubMed


Active commuting is associated with a reduced risk of several chronic diseases, but few studies have considered institutional factors that influence it. We examined the association between cultural and physical workplace supports for active commuting and employee active commuting behavior.
Data were collected from employees (N = 375) in Manhattan, Kansas, via an online survey. Physical and cultural supports for active commuting in the workplace were measured separately. Active commuting frequency was dichotomized as 0 trips versus at least 1 trip per week by foot or bicycle. Binomial logistic regression was used to predict the likelihood of commuting actively at least once per week, according to the number and type of cultural and physical workplace supports. Analyses were conducted by sex and age and for the full sample.
Among the full sample, employees who reported more physical and cultural supports in the workplace for active commuting were more likely to walk or bicycle to work at least once per week. Significant, positive relationships between cultural and physical supports and active commuting were observed for women but not for men. Both younger and older adults who reported 2 or more physical supports in the workplace were more likely to actively commute, but no relationship was observed for cultural supports. The most influential types of individual supports were perceiving that other coworkers actively commute and the presence of bicycle parking and a bicycle storage policy at the workplace.
The presence of workplace physical and cultural supports is related to more active commuting behavior and may especially encourage active commuting among women.

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    • "It is estimated that the number of bicycle trips currently made by men is twice that of women (Edmond, Tang, and Handy 2009) and that women may be differentially affected by factors associated with AC. For example, a previous study found that workplace environment features (e.g., availability of bike racks, locker rooms) were significantly associated with AC among women but not men (Kaczynski, Bopp, and Wittman 2010). Given that females tend to be less active than males overall, and that increasing AC may be a viable mechanism for increasing population-level PA, exploring the facilitators and barriers that are unique to women may be particularly effective in improving their activity levels and health. "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Active commuting (AC), walking and biking to work, has notable health benefits though rates of AC remain low among women. This study used a social-ecological framework to examine the factors associated with AC among women. Methods: A convenience sample of employed, working women (n=709) completed an online survey about their mode of travel to work. Individual, interpersonal, institutional, community and environmental influences were assessed. Basic descriptive statistics and frequencies described the sample. Simple logistic regression models examined associations with the independent variables with AC participation and multiple logistic regression analysis determined the relative influence of social ecological factors on AC participation. Results: The sample was primarily middle-aged (44.09±11.38 years) and Non-Hispanic White (92%). Univariate analyses revealed several individual, interpersonal, institutional, community and environmental factors significantly associated with AC. The multivariable logistic regression analysis results indicated that significant factors associated with AC included number of children, income, perceived behavioral control, coworker AC, coworker AC normative beliefs, employer and community supports, for AC, and traffic. The results of this study contribute to the limited body of knowledge on AC participation for women and may help to inform gender-tailored interventions to enhance AC behavior and improve health.
    Women & Health 02/2014; 54(3). DOI:10.1080/03630242.2014.883663 · 1.05 Impact Factor
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    • "Other research has examined social support [26] or the social environment [23] as possible influences on AC. Kaczynski and colleagues [26] noted that the presence of physical support, measured by the availability of bike parking, storage policies, showers, or lockers at the workplace was associated with a threefold increase in actively commuting to work. Similar to other studies examining how the built and natural environment can influence physical activity participation [19, 27–29], environmental influences on walking and biking to work are also well documented [22] [23] [25] [30] [31]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Walking and biking to work, active commuting (AC) is associated with many health benefits, though rates of AC remain low in the US. K-12 educators represent a significant portion of the workforce, and employee health and associated costs may have significant economic impact. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the current rates of AC and factors associated with AC among K-12 educators. Methods: A volunteer sample of K-12 educators (n = 437) was recruited to participate in an online survey. Participants responded about AC patterns and social ecological influences on AC (individual, interpersonal, institutional, community, and environmental factors). t-tests and ANOVAs examined trends in AC, and Pearson correlations examined the relationship between AC and dependent variables. Multiple regression analysis determined the relative influence of individual, interpersonal, institutional, community, and environmental levels on AC. Results: Participants actively commuted 0.51 ± 1.93 times/week. There were several individual, interpersonal, institutional, community, and environmental factors significantly related to AC. The full model explained 60.8% of the variance in AC behavior. Conclusions: This study provides insight on the factors that determine K-12 educators mode of commute and provide some insight for employee wellness among this population.
    Journal of Environmental and Public Health 09/2013; 2013(10):162731. DOI:10.1155/2013/162731
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    • "Recent research has addressed individual, social, and environmental factors associated with AC to work. Some documented correlates of AC include demographics (age, gender, income, and race/ethnicity) [30] [31], psychosocial (self-efficacy, behavioral beliefs, attitudes, and intention) [32– 35], and environmental influences (traffic, walkable and bikeable features, safety, and convenient public transport close to the workplace) [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41]. However, few, if any, studies have focused in much depth on how diverse health-related factors are associated with AC [42], despite the acknowledgment that health is a prime determinant, motivator, and outcome of AC [25]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Active commuting (AC) to the workplace is a potential strategy for incorporating physical activity into daily life and is associated with health benefits. This study examined the association between health-related factors and mode of travel to the workplace. Methods. A volunteer convenience sample of employed adults completed an online survey regarding demographics, health-related factors, and the number of times/week walking, biking, driving, and using public transit to work (dichotomized as no walk/bike/drive/PT and walk/bike/drive/PT 1 + x/week). Logistic regression was used to predict the likelihood of each mode of transport and meeting PA recommendations from AC according to demographics and health-related factors. Results. The sample (íµí±› = 1175) was aged 43.5 ± 11.4 years and was primarily White (92.7%) and female (67.9%). Respondents reported walking (7.3%), biking (14.4%), taking public transit (20.3%), and driving (78.3%) to work at least one time/week. Among those reporting AC, 9.6% met PA recommendations from AC alone. Mode of travel to work was associated with several demographic and health-related factors, including age, number of chronic diseases, weight status, and AC beliefs. Discussion. Mode of transportation to the workplace and health-related factors such as disease or weight status should be considered in future interventions targeting AC.
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