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Methods for Determining Route Distances in Active Commuting: Their Validity and Reproducibility
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3547-425X
2011 (English)In: Journal of Transport Geography, ISSN 0966-6923, E-ISSN 1873-1236, Vol. 19, no 4, 563-574 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Distance is a variable of pivotal importance in transport studies. Therefore, after checking the validity of a potential criterion method for measuring active commuting route distances, this method was used to assess the validity and reproducibility of four methods of approximating the commuting route distances covered by pedestrians and bicyclists. The methods assessed were: self-estimated distance, straight-line distance, GIS shortest-route distance, and GPS-measured distance. For this purpose, participants were recruited when walking or bicycling in Stockholm, Sweden. Questionnaires and individually-adjusted maps were sent twice to 133 participants. The distances of map-drawn commuting routes functioned as criterion distances. The participants were also asked to estimate their distances. The straight-line distance between origin and destination was measured using map-drawn routes. The shortest route between home addresses and workplace addresses was calculated with three GIS algorithms. Eighty-six trips were measured with GPS. The main results were that test–retest intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) exceeded 0.99 for all methods, except for self-estimated distance (ICC = 0.76). No ordereffects existed between test and retest. Significant differences were, however, noted between criterion distance and self-estimated distance (114 ± 63%), straight-line distance (79.1 ± 10.5%), GIS shortest route (112 ± 18 to 121 ± 22%) and GPS distance (105 ± 4%). We conclude that commonly-used distance estimation methods produce systematic errors of differing magnitudes when used in a context of active commuting in suburban and urban environments. These errors can at average level be corrected for, whereas individual relative errors will remain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier , 2011. Vol. 19, no 4, 563-574 p.
Keyword [en]
walking, cycling, commuting, distance, validity, reproducibility
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1230DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2010.06.006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-1230DiVA: diva2:325786
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FAAP
Available from: 2010-06-20 Created: 2010-06-20 Last updated: 2016-06-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Assessment of active commuting behaviour: walking and bicycling in Greater Stockholm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessment of active commuting behaviour: walking and bicycling in Greater Stockholm
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Walking and bicycling to work, active commuting, can contribute to sustainable mobility and provide regular health-enhancing physical activity for individuals. Our knowledge of active commuting behaviours in general and in different mode and gender groups in particular is limited. Moreover, the validity and reproducibility of the methods to measure the key variables of the behaviours are uncertain. The aims of this thesis is to explore gender and mode choice differences in commuting behaviours in terms of distance, duration, velocity and trip frequency, of a group of adult commuters in Greater Stockholm, Sweden, and furthermore to develop a criterion method for distance measurements and to assess the validity of four other distance measurement methods. We used one sample of active commuters recruited by advertisements, n = 1872, and one street-recruited sample, n = 140. Participants received a questionnaire and a map to draw their commuting route on. The main findings of the thesis were, firstly, that the map-based method could function as a criterion method for active commuting distance measurements and, secondly, that four assessed distance measurement methods – straight-line distance, GIS, GPS and self-report – differed significantly from the criterion method. Therefore, we recommend the use of correction factors to compensate for the systematic over- and underestimations. We also found three distinctly different modality groups in both men and women with different behaviours in commuting distance, duration and trip frequency. These groups were commuters who exclusively walk or bicycle the whole way to work, and dual mode commuters who switch between walking and cycling. These mode groups accrued different amounts of activity time for commuting. Through active commuting per se, the median pedestrian and dual mode commuters met or were close to the recommended physical activity level of 150 minutes per week during most months of the year, whereas the single mode cyclists did so only during the summer half of the year.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2011. 137 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Sport Sciences, ISSN 1654-7532 ; 12
Keyword
walking, cycling, commuting, validity, reproducibility, distance, duration, velocity, frequency, seasonality
National Category
Health Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1872 (URN)978-91-7668-805-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-09-22, Hörsal G, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 11:46 (Swedish)
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FAAP
Available from: 2011-09-02 Created: 2011-09-02 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved

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