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Studies on bikeability in a metropolitan area using the active commuting route environment scale (ACRES)
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.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES) was developed to study active commuters’ perceptions of their route environments. The overall aims were to assess the measuring properties of the ACRES and study active bicycle commuters’ perceptions of their commuting route environments.

Methods: Advertisement- and street-recruited bicycle commuters from Greater Stockholm, Sweden, responded to the ACRES. Expected differences between inner urban and suburban route environments were used to assess criterion-related validity, together with ratings from an assembled expert panel as well as existing objective measures. Reliability was assessed as test-retest reproducibility. Comparisons of ratings between advertisement- and street-recruited participants were used for assessments of representativity. Ratings of inner urban and suburban route environments were used to evaluate commuting route environment profiles. Simultaneous multiple linear regression analyses were used to assess the relation between the outcome variable: whether the route environment hinders or stimulates bicycle-commuting and environmental predictors, such as levels of exhaust fumes, speeds of traffic and greenery, in inner urban areas.

Results: The ACRES was characterized by considerable criterion-related validity and reasonable test-retest reproducibility. There was a good correspondence between the advertisement- and street-recruited participants’ ratings. Distinct differences in commuting route environment profiles between the inner urban and suburban areas were noted. Suburban route environments were rated as safer and more stimulating for bicycle-commuting. Beautiful, green and safe route environments seem to be, independently of each other, stimulating factors for bicycle-commuting in inner urban areas. On the other hand, high levels of exhaust fumes and traffic congestion, as well as low ‘directness’ of the route, seem to be hindering factors.

Conclusions: The ACRES is useful for assessing bicyclists’ perceptions of their route environments. A number of environmental factors related to the route appear to be stimulating or hindering for bicycle commuting. The overall results demonstrate a complex research area at the beginning of exploration.

Abstract [sv]

BAKGRUND: Färdvägsmiljöer kan tänkas påverka människors fysiskt aktiva arbetspendling och därmed bidra till bättre folkhälsa. Studier av färdvägsmiljöer är därför önskvärda för att öka förståelsen kring möjliga samband mellan fysiskt aktiv arbetspendling och färdvägsmiljöer. En enkät, ”The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale” (ACRES), har därför skapats i syfte att studera fysiskt aktiva arbetspendlares upplevelser av sina färdvägsmiljöer. Huvudsyftet med denna avhandling var dels att studera enkätens psykometriska egenskaper i form av validitet och reliabilitet, dels att studera arbetspendlande cyklisters upplevelser av sina färdvägsmiljöer.

METODER: Arbetspendlande cyklister från Stor-Stockholm rekryterades via tidningsannonsering och via direkt kontakt i anslutning till färdvägen. Deltagarna besvarade enkäten ACRES. Tillsammans med skattningar från en grupp av experter och redan existerande objektiva mått användes förväntade skillnader mellan färdvägsmiljöer i inner- och ytterstaden för att studera kriterierelaterad validitet. Reliabiliteten studerades som reproducerbarhet via upprepade mätningar (test-retest). Jämförelser mellan skattningar av deltagare rekryterade via annonsering och via direkt kontakt i färdvägsmiljöer användes för att studera representativitet. Skattningar av färdvägsmiljöer i inner- och ytterstaden användes vidare för att studera färdvägsmiljöprofiler. Multipel linjär regressionsanalys användes även för att studera sambandet mellan utfallsvariabeln huruvida färdvägsmiljön motverkar eller stimulerar arbetspendling med cykel och miljöprediktorer, såsom avgasnivåer, trafikens hastighet och grönska, i innerstadsmiljöer.

RESULTAT: Enkäten ACRES visade god kriterierelaterad validitet och rimlig reproducerbarhet. Det var en god överrensstämmelse mellan skattningar av deltagare rekryterade via annonsering och via direkt kontakt. Färdvägsmiljöprofilerna visade tydliga skillnader mellan inner- och ytterstadsmiljöer. Ytterstadens färdvägsmiljöer skattades som tryggare och mer stimulerande för arbetspendling med cykel än innerstadens färdvägsmiljöer. Vidare verkar vackra, gröna och trygga färdvägsmiljöer, oberoende av varandra, vara stimulerade faktorer för arbetspendling med cykel i innerstadsmiljöer. Däremot verkar höga avgasnivåer, höga trängselnivåer och färdvägar som kräver många riktningsändringar vara motverkande faktorer.

SLUTSATSER: Enkäten ACRES är ett användbart instrument vid mätningar av cyklisters upplevelser av sina färdvägsmiljöer. Ett antal faktorer relaterade till färdvägsmiljön verkar vara stimulerande respektive motverkande för arbetspendling med cykel. Generellt sett på visar resultaten ett relativt outforskat och komplext forskningsområde.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2011.
Series
Örebro Studies in Sport Sciences, ISSN 1654-7535
Keyword [en]
active transport, bicycle commuting, bikeability, multiple linear regression analysis, perception, reliability, route environment, validity
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1873OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-1873DiVA: diva2:441050
Public defence
2011-10-28, Aulan, GIH, Lidingövägen 1, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
FAAP
Note

Örebro universitet, Hälsoakademin

Available from: 2011-09-14 Created: 2011-09-14 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES): Development and Evaluation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES): Development and Evaluation
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Vol. 7, no 58Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Route environments can be a potentially important factor in influencing people’s behaviours in relation to active commuting. To better understand these possiblerelationships, assessments of route environments are needed. We therefore developed a scale; the Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES), for the assessment of bicyclists’ and pedestrians’ perceptions of their commuting route environments. Here we will report on the development and the results of validity and reliability assessments thereof.

Methods

Active commuters (n = 54) were recruited when they bicycled in Stockholm, Sweden. Traffic planning and environmental experts from the Municipality of Stockholm were assembled to form an expert panel (n = 24). The active commuters responded to the scale on two occasions, and the expert panel responded to it once. To test criterion-related validity, differences in ratings of the inner urban and suburban environments of Greater Stockholm were compared between the experts and the commuters. Furthermore, four items were compared with existing objective measures. Test-retest reproducibility was assessed with three types of analysis: order effect, typical error and intraclass correlation.

Results

There was a concordance in sizes and directions of differences in ratings of inner urban and suburban environments between the experts and the commuters. Furthermore, both groups’ ratings were in line with existing objectively measured differences between the two environmental settings. Order effects between test and retest were observed in 6 of 36 items. The typical errors ranged from 0.93 to 2.54, and the intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from ‘moderate’ (0.42) to ‘almost perfect’ (0.87).

Conclusions

The ACRES was characterized by considerable criterion-related validity and reasonable test-retest reproducibility.

Keyword
bicycling, walking, route environment, validity, reproducibility, commuting, Greater Stockholm, gående, cykling, färdvägsmiljö, validitet, reproducerbarhet, arbetspendling, Stor-Stockholm
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Medicine/Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1232 (URN)10.1186/1479-5868-7-58 (DOI)
Projects
FAAP
Available from: 2010-07-30 Created: 2010-06-28 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved
2. Bikeability and methodological issues using the active commuting route environment scale (ACRES) in a metropolitan setting
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bikeability and methodological issues using the active commuting route environment scale (ACRES) in a metropolitan setting
2011 (English)In: BMC Medical Research Methodology, ISSN 1471-2288, E-ISSN 1471-2288, Vol. 11, no 6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background Route environments can positively influence people’s active commuting and thereby contribute to public health. The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES) was developed to study active commuters’ perceptions of their route environments. However, bicycle commuters represent a small portion of the population in many cities and thus are difficult to study using population-based material. Therefore, the aim of this study is to expand the state of knowledge concerning the criterion-related validity of the ACRES and the representativity using an advertisement-recruited sample. Furthermore, by comparing commuting route environment profiles of inner urban and suburban areas, we provide a novel basis for understanding the relationship between environment and bikeability.

Methods Bicycle commuters from Greater Stockholm, Sweden, advertisement- (n = 1379) and street-recruited (n = 93), responded to the ACRES. Traffic planning and environmental experts from the Municipality of Stockholm (n = 24) responded to a modified version of the ACRES. The criterion-related validity assessments were based on whether or not differences between the inner urban and the suburban route environments, as indicated by the experts and by four existing objective measurements were reflected by differences in perceptions of these environments. Comparisons of ratings between advertisement- and street-recruited participants were used for the assessments of representativity. Finally, ratings of inner urban and suburban route environments were used to evaluate commuting route environment profiles.

Results Differences in ratings of the inner urban and suburban route environments by the advertisement-recruited participants were in accord with the existing objective measurements and corresponded reasonably well with those of the experts. Overall, there was a reasonably good correspondence between the advertisement- and street-recruited participants’ ratings. Distinct differences in commuting route environment profiles were noted between the inner urban and suburban areas. Suburban route environments were rated as safer and more stimulating for bicycle-commuting than the inner urban ones. In general, the findings applied to both men and women.

Conclusions The overall results show: considerable criterion-related validity of the ACRES; ratings of advertisement-recruited participants mirroring those of street-recruited participants; and a higher degree of bikeability in the suburban commuting route environments than in the inner urban ones.

Keyword
bicycling, route environment, validity, representativity, perception, safety, inner urban, suburban
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1648 (URN)10.1186/1471-2288-11-6 (DOI)
Projects
Physical Active Commuting in Greater Stockholm, www.gih.se/pacsFAAP
Available from: 2011-01-17 Created: 2010-12-18 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved
3. Exploring bikeability in a metropolitan setting: stimulating and hindering factors in commuting route environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring bikeability in a metropolitan setting: stimulating and hindering factors in commuting route environments
2012 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 12, no 168Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Route environments may influence people’s active commuting positively and thereby contribute to public health. Assessments of route environments are, however, needed in order to better understand the possible relationship between active commuting and the route environment. The aim of this study was, therefore, to assess the potential associations between perceptions of whether the route environment on the whole hinders or stimulates bicycle commuting and perceptions of environmental factors.

Methods

The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES) was used for the assessment of bicycle commuters’ perceptions of their route environments in the inner urban parts of Greater Stockholm, Sweden. Bicycle commuters (n = 827) were recruited by advertisements in newspapers. Simultaneous multiple regression analyses were used to assess the relation between predictor variables (such as levels of exhaust fumes, noise, traffic speed, traffic congestion and greenery) and the outcome variable (hindering – stimulating route environments). Two models were run, (Model 1) without and (Model 2) with the item traffic: unsafe or safe included as a predictor.

Results

Overall, about 40% of the variance of hindering – stimulating route environments was explained by the environmental predictors in our models (Model 1, = 0.415, and Model 2, = 0.435). The regression equation for Model 1 was: y = 8.53 + 0.33 ugly or beautiful + 0.14 greenery + (−0.14) course of the route + (−0.13) exhaust fumes + (−0.09) congestion: all types of vehicles (p ≤ 0.019). The regression equation for Model 2 was y = 6.55 + 0.31 ugly or beautiful + 0.16 traffic: unsafe or safe + (−0.13) exhaust fumes + 0.12 greenery + (−0.12) course of the route (p ≤ 0.001).

Conclusions

The main results indicate that beautiful, green and safe route environments seem to be, independently of each other, stimulating factors for bicycle commuting in inner urban areas. On the other hand, exhaust fumes, traffic congestion and low ‘directness’ of the route seem to be hindering factors. Furthermore, the overall results illustrate the complexity of a research area at the beginning of exploration.

Keyword
active commuting, route environment, cycling, The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES), Stockholm
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1888 (URN)10.1186/1471-2458-12-168 (DOI)
Projects
Physically Active Commuting in Greater Stockholm (www.gih.se/pacs)FAAP
Note

At the time of Lina Wahlgren's dissertation the article was a manuscript (pre print).

Available from: 2012-02-28 Created: 2011-09-27 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved

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