Active travel to work in NSW: Trends over time and the effect of social advantage

Alexis Zander, Chris Rissel, Kris Rogers, Adrian Bauman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Issues addressed Active travel can increase population levels of physical activity, but should be promoted equitably. Socio-economic advantage, housing location and/or car ownership influence walking and cycling (active travel) for transport. We examined active commuting over time in the Sydney Greater Metropolitan Region, and associations between active commuting and socioeconomic advantage, urban/rural location and car ownership at a Local Government Area (LGA) level across New South Wales (NSW). Methods Journey to work data from the 2001, 2006 and 2011 Australian Census were examined. Associations between levels of active commuting in each LGA in NSW and the Socio-Economic Index for Areas (SEIFA), Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) and car ownership were examined using negative binomial regression modelling. Results Between 2001 and 2011, active commuting increased in inner Sydney (relative increase of 24%), decreased slightly in outer Sydney (declined 5.1%) and declined in the Greater Metropolitan Region (down 15%). Overall, active commuting increased slightly (6.8% relative increase). After adjusting for the LGA age and sex profile and all other LGA variables, people living in NSW LGAs with high socioeconomic status, more rural areas and low car ownership were more likely to cycle or walk to work. Conclusions More needs to be done in NSW to increase levels of active commuting consistently across regions and socio-demographic groups. So what? Despite small increases in active travel in the Sydney region, active travel patterns are not evenly distributed across locations or populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.


  • active travel
  • cycling
  • walking
  • socioeconomic aspects
  • Active commuting


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