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Transport, Physical Activity and Health: Present knowledge and the way ahead

Mackett, RL; Brown, B; (2011) Transport, Physical Activity and Health: Present knowledge and the way ahead. Centre for Transport Studies, University College London: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

The objective of this report is to consider the available evidence on the role of transport in increasing levels of physical activity, and so contribute to addressing the nation’s health problems caused by low levels of physical activity. Evidence on the links between transport and physical activity is examined, followed by examination of the effects of individual behaviour on physical activity. Whilst research on this topic has had some impact, there are a number on concerns about the approach, in particular the lack of evidence on long-term effects. Modifications to the built environment to increase physical activity are discussed: these need to be supported by other measures to be fully effective. The key relationship is between car use and physical activity. In order to increase levels of physical activity, it is necessary to reduce use of the car. Because so many households have adopted lifestyles that revolve around the use of the car, it is important to recognise that any policies to reduce car use must provide as much, or close to as much, accessibility as the car does. One way to do this is to shift the method of accessing cars from individual household ownership to a more flexible system of hiring or sharing cars. There would need to be a variety of supporting policy actions affecting transport and land use. It would be very useful to have a wide debate about transport modelling to ensure that the models represent travel and locational behaviour effectively, including factors that represent physical activity; the discussion should include the cost effectiveness of making changes to the existing modelling system. The implementation of the approach presented in the report could lead to significant improvements in the health of the nation and cost savings to the National Health Service.

Type: Report
Title: Transport, Physical Activity and Health: Present knowledge and the way ahead
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.cege.ucl.ac.uk/research/projects?sq_con...
Language: English
Additional information: Commissioned by the Department for Transport, London, UK
Keywords: transport, physical activity, health, transport and health, transport and physical activity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1333502
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