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Quantifying the Health Impacts of Active Travel: Assessment of Methodologies
Doorley, Ronan; Pakrashi, Vikram; Ghosh, Bidisha
In the past several years, active travel (walking and cycling) has increasingly been recognized as an effective means of improving public health by increasing physical activity and by avoiding the negative externalities of motorized transport. The impacts of increased active travel on mortality and morbidity rates have been quantified through a range of methodologies. In this study, the existing publications in this field of research have been reviewed to compare and contrast the methodologies adapted and to identify the key considerations and the best practices. The publications were classified in terms of the health summary outcomes and exposure variables considered, the model structures used in the studies and the impact of these choices on the results. Increased physical activity was identified as the most important determinant of the health impacts of active travel but different ways of quantifying these health impacts can lead to substantial differences in the scale of the impact. Further research is required into the relationship between increased physical activity and health effects in order to reach consensus on the most reliable modelling approach for this important determinant of benefits. Critical discussions on other exposure variables have also been provided to ascertain best practices. Additionally, a logical flow of the modelling processes (and their variations) has also been illustrated which can be followed for developing future studies into the health impacts of active travel.
Keyword(s): Transport and society; Environment; Active travel; Health; Exposure
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: University College Dublin
Publisher(s): Taylor & Francis
First Indexed: 2019-05-15 06:16:00 Last Updated: 2019-05-15 06:16:00