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The Relationship of Eco-friendly Attitudes with Walking and Biking to Work

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between eco-friendly attitudes (EFA) and several variables related to active Commuting (AC).

Research designed as a cross-sectional study of respondents to an online survey. Participants determined as employed adults, physically able to walk or bicycle. The survey included questions about EFA, AC patterns, motivators and barriers for AC, and demographics. Eco-friendly attitudes were measured using a 9-item scale (eg, “I subscribe to ecological publications”). Participants were divided into quartiles on the basis of their EFA summary score (higher score = more ecologically friendly), and t tests and analyses of variance were used to make comparisons across groups on several variables related to AC.

This study has provided valuable information about possible influences on AC and thus has implications for public health practitioners designing future interventions promoting active travel to work (or school) by adults. Given the significant relationship observed between EFA and AC, and the fact that current attitudes toward ecological initiatives are very positive,27 the “greenness” of AC is a sellable benefit for public health interventions or mass media campaigns. The research showed that persons with stronger EFA were more likely to actively commute, but it is likely that a large group of individuals exists who hold positive attitudes toward the environment but who do not currently commute via active means. When designing persuasive communications to include in such campaigns, public health practitioners will need to determine the best way to appeal to the environmental ethics of such a target market. One decision is whether to try to influence environmental attitudes or environmental knowledge.


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