Cycling and walking: Why don't hospitals provide facilities for healthy transport?

H. Owen, R. H. Day, P. Scullion

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Physical activity is essential for health but modern lifestyles have become increasingly sedentary. Walking and cycling for transport is exercise that can readily become an habitual everyday activity. Health policy recognises the value of walking and cycling but government policy generally promotes personal car use and transport planning encourages this mode. Hospitals should be at the forefront of promoting healthy transport policy and this study was undertaken to assess the attitudes in hospitals to health- promoting transport and the facilities provided to support it. A questionnaire about attitudes to physical activity, health promotion and walking and cycling was sent to 15 hospitals in metropolitan Adelaide. This was followed up with site visits. Although respondents were aware of the beneficial effects of physical activity only a third translated this into any action. No hospital encouraged walking or cycling for transport. All hospitals had car parking but few had bicycle parking and fewer had facilities that met Australian Standards. In many hospitals overseas, walking and cycling are actively encouraged through improved access, appropriate facilities and even incentives. Hospitals in Adelaide could have a positive health impact by moving beyond 'treatment' and promoting walking and cycling for transport and health.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-113
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health - Interchange
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


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