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Health Place. 2013 Sep;23:18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2013.04.006. Epub 2013 May 7.

Achieving recommended daily physical activity levels through commuting by public transportation: unpacking individual and contextual influences.

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Department of Geography, McGill University, 805 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A2K6.


This paper estimates the amount of daily walking associated with using public transportation in a large metropolitan area and examines individual and contextual characteristics associated with walking distances. Total walking distance to and from transit was calculated from a travel diary survey for 6913 individuals. Multilevel regression modelling was used to examine the underlying factors associated with walking to public transportation. The physical activity benefits of public transportation varied along gender and socio-economic lines. Recommended minutes of daily physical activity can be achieved for public transportation users, especially train users living in affluent suburbs.


Commuting; Physical activity; Public transportation; Transit; Walking

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