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J Transp Health. 2015 Jun 1;2(2):212-218.

Choice of commuting mode among employees: Do home neighborhood environment, worksite neighborhood environment, and worksite policy and supports matter?

Author information

1
Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, USA.
2
Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis, USA. ; Prevention Research Center in St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis, USA.
3
Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis, USA.
4
Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, USA. ; Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis, USA. ; Prevention Research Center in St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis, USA. ; Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Promoting the use of public transit and active transport (walking and cycling) instead of car driving is an appealing strategy to increase overall physical activity.

PURPOSE:

To quantify the combined associations between self-reported home and worksite neighborhood environments, worksite support and policies, and employees' commuting modes.

METHOD:

Between 2012 and 2013, participants residing in four Missouri metropolitan areas were interviewed via telephone (n = 1,338) and provided information on socio-demographic characteristics, home and worksite neighborhoods, and worksite support and policies. Commuting mode was self-reported and categorized into car driving, public transit, and active commuting. Commuting distance was calculated using geographic information systems. Commuters providing completed data were included in the analysis. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the correlates of using public transit and active commuting.

RESULT:

The majority of participants reported commuting by driving (88.9%); only 4.9% used public transit and 6.2% used active modes. After multivariate adjustment, having transit stops within 10-15 minutes walking distance from home (p=0.05) and using worksite incentive for public transit (p<0.001) were associated with commuting by public transit. Commuting distance (p<0.001) was negatively associated with active commuting. Having free or low cost recreation facilities around the worksite (p=0.04) and using bike facilities to lock bikes at the worksite (p<0.001) were associated with active commuting.

CONCLUSION:

Both environment features and worksite supports and policies are associated with the choice of commuting mode. Future studies should use longitudinal designs to investigate the potential of promoting alternative commuting modes through worksite efforts that support sustainable commuting behaviors as well as the potential of built environment improvements.

KEYWORDS:

Active commuting; employees; neighborhood environment; public transit; worksite policy; worksite support

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