Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The contribution of commuting to total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity

Gbadamosi, AR; Clarke-Cornwell, AM; Sindall, PA; Granat, MH


AR Gbadamosi


Background: Commuting to and from work can increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and increase adherence to physical activity guidelines; however, there is lack of evidence on the contribution of different modes of commute and continuous stepping bouts to physical activity while commuting. Also, many commuting studies employ the use of self-reported physical activity measures.

Objective: The aim of this study was to objectively determine the contribution of MVPA during commuting to total MVPA, using cadence to define MVPA and to explore how the length of stepping bouts affects adherence to physical activity guidelines.

Methods: Twenty-seven university staff wore an activPAL™ activity monitor for seven days and kept an activity diary; the activity diary collected information of commute times and modes of commute. The activPAL™ quantified the cadence and length of stepping bouts. MVPA was defined as stepping with a cadence of more than 100 steps/min. Statistical tests were carried out to determine if there was any relationship between commute time spent in MVPA and total MVPA.

Results: The average total time per day spent in MVPA was 53.1 (±30.2) minutes, with commuting contributing 33% or 17.7 (±14.7) minutes. Walking (32.2 (±9.6) minutes) and mixed-mode (27.2 (±15.3) minutes) commuters spent more time in MVPA than car commuters (9.1 (±8.3) minutes). Seventeen of the 23 participants achieved more than 30 minutes of MVPA per day, with five achieving this in their commute alone (Figure 1). At a cadence of over 110 step/min, there was a far greater proportion of stepping during commuting compared to other cadence bands (Figure 1). Stepping bouts of greater than 210 seconds were only undertaken whilst commuting, with a higher number of steps accumulated in bouts over 300 seconds (Figure 2). A significant positive association was found between commute time spent in MVPA and total MVPA (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Commuting can be a major contributor to total MVPA, with the mode of commute having a significant role in the level of this contribution to total MVPA.

Implication for Practice and Policy: Public health messages should encourage active or mixed-mode commuting and focus on changing commuting habits so as to improve physical activity.


Gbadamosi, A., Clarke-Cornwell, A., Sindall, P., & Granat, M. (2019, February). The contribution of commuting to total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Poster presented at Active Living Conference, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Presentation Conference Type Poster
Conference Name Active Living Conference
Conference Location Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Start Date Feb 17, 2019
End Date Feb 20, 2019
Publication Date Feb 17, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 9, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 9, 2019
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs
Additional Information Additional Information : Conference poster presentation
Event Type : Conference


Active Living Conference_Abstract.doc (84 Kb)


You might also like

Downloadable Citations