140 results found
Yang X, McCoy E, Anaya-Boig E, et al., 2021, The effects of traveling in different transport modes on Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) as a measure of stress: an observational study, Environment International, Vol: 156, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 0160-4120
BackgroundStress is one of many ailments associated with urban living, with daily travel a potential major source. Active travel, nevertheless, has been associated with lower levels of stress compared to other modes. Earlier work has relied on self-reported measures of stress, and on study designs that limit our ability to establish causation.ObjectivesTo evaluate effects of daily travel in different modes on an objective proxy measure of stress, the galvanic skin response (GSR).MethodsWe collected data from 122 participants across 3 European cities as part of the Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) study, including: GSR measured every minute alongside confounders (physical activity, near-body temperature) during three separate weeks covering 3 seasons; sociodemographic and travel information through questionnaires. Causal relationships between travel in different modes (the “treatment”) and stress were established by using a propensity score matching (PSM) approach to adjust for potential confounding and estimating linear mixed models (LMM) with individuals as random effects to account for repeated measurements. In three separate analyses, we compared GSR while cycling to not cycling, then walking to not walking then motorized (public or private) travel to any activity other than motorized travel.ResultsDepending on LMM formulations used, cycling reduces 1-minute GSR by 5.7% [95% CI: 2.0–16.9%] to 11.1% [95% CI: 5.0–24.4%] compared to any other activity. Repeating the analysis for other modes we find that: walking is also beneficial, reducing GSR by 3.9% [95% CI: 1.4–10.7%] to 5.7% [95% CI: 2.6–12.3%] compared to any other activity; motorized mode (private or public) in reverse increases GSR by up to 1.1% [95% CI: 0.5–2.9%].DiscussionActive travel offers a welcome way to reduce stress in urban dwellers’ daily lives. Stress can be added to the growing number of evidence-based reasons for
Laumbach RJ, Cromar KR, Adamkiewicz G, et al., 2021, Personal Interventions for Reducing Exposure and Risk for Outdoor Air Pollution: An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report., Ann Am Thorac Soc, Vol: 18, Pages: 1435-1443
Poor air quality affects the health and wellbeing of large populations around the globe. Although source controls are the most effective approaches for improving air quality and reducing health risks, individuals can also take actions to reduce their personal exposure by staying indoors, reducing physical activity, altering modes of transportation, filtering indoor air, and using respirators and other types of face masks. A synthesis of available evidence on the efficacy, effectiveness, and potential adverse effects or unintended consequences of personal interventions for air pollution is needed by clinicians to assist patients and the public in making informed decisions about use of these interventions. To address this need, the American Thoracic Society convened a workshop in May of 2018 to bring together a multidisciplinary group of international experts to review the current state of knowledge about personal interventions for air pollution and important considerations when helping patients and the general public to make decisions about how best to protect themselves. From these discussions, recommendations were made regarding when, where, how, and for whom to consider personal interventions. In addition to the efficacy and safety of the various interventions, the committee considered evidence regarding the identification of patients at greatest risk, the reliability of air quality indices, the communication challenges, and the ethical and equity considerations that arise when discussing personal interventions to reduce exposure and risk from outdoor air pollution.
Nieuwenhuijsen M, Fletcher T, de Nazelle A, et al., 2021, Re: Sponsorship by Big Oil, Like the Tobacco Industry, Should be Banned by the Research Community, EPIDEMIOLOGY, Vol: 32, Pages: E11-E11, ISSN: 1044-3983
Goel R, Goodman A, Aldred R, et al., 2021, Cycling behaviour in 17 countries across 6 continents: levels of cycling, who cycles, for what purpose, and how far?, Transport Reviews, Pages: 1-24, ISSN: 0144-1647
International comparisons of cycling behaviour have typically been limited to high-income countries and often limited to the prevalence of cycling, with lack of discussions on demographic and trip characteristics. We used a combination of city, regional, and national travel surveys from 17 countries across the six continents, ranging from years 2009 through 2019. We present a descriptive analysis of cycling behaviour including level of cycling, trip purpose and distance, and user demographics, at the city-level for 35 major cities (>1 million population) and in urbanised areas nationwide for 11 countries. The Netherlands, Japan and Germany are among the highest cycling countries and their cities among the highest cycling cities. In cities and countries with high cycling levels, cycling rates tend to be more equal between work and non-work trips, whereas in geographies with low cycling levels, cycling to work is higher than cycling for other trips. In terms of cycling distance, patterns in high- and low-cycling geographies are more similar. We found a strong positive association between the level of cycling and women’s representation among cyclists. In almost all geographies with cycling mode share greater than 7% women made as many cycle trips as men, and sometimes even greater. The share of cycling trips by women is much lower in geographies with cycling mode shares less than 7%. Among the geographies with higher levels of cycling, children (<16 years) are often overrepresented. Older adults (>60 years) remain underrepresented in all geographies but have relatively better representation where levels of cycling are high. In low-cycling settings, females are underrepresented across all the age groups, and more so when older than 16 years. With increasing level of cycling, representation of females improves across all the age groups, and most significantly among children and older adults. Clustering the cities and countries into homogeneous cycling typo
Brand C, Dons E, Anaya-Boig E, et al., 2021, The climate change mitigation effects of daily active travel in cities, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Vol: 93, Pages: 1-18, ISSN: 1361-9209
Active travel (walking or cycling for transport) is considered the most sustainable form of personal transport. Yet its net effects on mobility-related CO2 emissions are complex and under-researched. Here we collected travel activity data in seven European cities and derived life cycle CO2 emissions across modes and purposes. Daily mobility-related life cycle CO2 emissions were 3.2 kgCO2 per person, with car travel contributing 70% and cycling 1%. Cyclists had 84% lower life cycle CO2 emissions than non-cyclists. Life cycle CO2 emissions decreased by −14% per additional cycling trip and decreased by −62% for each avoided car trip. An average person who ‘shifted travel modes’ from car to bike decreased life cycle CO2 emissions by 3.2 kgCO2/day. Promoting active travel should be a cornerstone of strategies to meet net zero carbon targets, particularly in urban areas, while also improving public health and quality of urban life.
Brand C, Gotschi T, Dons E, et al., 2021, The climate change mitigation impacts of active travel: Evidence from a longitudinal panel study in seven European cities, GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS, Vol: 67, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 0959-3780
Active travel (walking or cycling for transport) is considered the most sustainable and low carbon form of getting from A to B. Yet the net effects of changes in active travel on changes in mobility-related CO2 emissions are complex and under-researched. Here we collected longitudinal data on daily travel behavior, journey purpose, as well as personal and geospatial characteristics in seven European cities and derived mobility-related lifecycle CO2 emissions over time and space. Statistical modelling of longitudinal panel (n = 1849) data was performed to assess how changes in active travel, the ‘main mode’ of daily travel, and cycling frequency influenced changes in mobility-related lifecycle CO2 emissions.We found that changes in active travel have significant lifecycle carbon emissions benefits, even in European urban contexts with already high walking and cycling shares. An increase in cycling or walking consistently and independently decreased mobility-related lifecycle CO2 emissions, suggesting that active travel substituted for motorized travel – i.e. the increase was not just additional (induced) travel over and above motorized travel. To illustrate this, an average person cycling 1 trip/day more and driving 1 trip/day less for 200 days a year would decrease mobility-related lifecycle CO2 emissions by about 0.5 tonnes over a year, representing a substantial share of average per capita CO2 emissions from transport. The largest benefits from shifts from car to active travel were for business purposes, followed by social and recreational trips, and commuting to work or place of education. Changes to commuting emissions were more pronounced for those who were younger, lived closer to work and further to a public transport station.Even if not all car trips could be substituted by active travel the potential for decreasing emissions is considerable and significant. The study gives policy and practice the empirical evidence needed to assess climate
Kahlmeier S, Boig EA, Castro A, et al., 2021, Assessing the policy environment for active mobility in cities-development and feasibility of the PASTA cycling and walking policy environment score, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol: 18, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 1660-4601
The importance of setting a policy focus on promoting cycling and walking as sustainable and healthy modes of transport is increasingly recognized. However, to date a science-driven scoring system to assess the policy environment for cycling and walking is lacking. In this study, spreadsheet-based scoring systems for cycling and walking were developed, including six dimensions (cycling/walking culture, social acceptance, perception of traffic safety, advocacy, politics and urban planning). Feasibility was tested using qualitative data from pre-specified sections of semi-standardized interview and workshop reports from a European research project in seven cities, assessed independently by two experts. Disagreements were resolved by discussions of no more than 75 minutes per city. On the dimension “perception of traffic safety”, quantitative panel data were used. While the interrater agreement was fair, feasibility was confirmed in general. Validity testing against social norms towards active travel, modal split and network length was encouraging for the policy area of cycling. Rating the policy friendliness for cycling and walking separately was found to be appropriate, as different cities received the highest scores for each. Replicating this approach in a more standardized way would pave the way towards a transparent, evidence-based system for benchmarking policy approaches of cities towards cycling and walking.
Tainio M, Andersen ZJ, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ, et al., 2021, Air pollution, physical activity and health: A mapping review of the evidence, ENVIRONMENT INTERNATIONAL, Vol: 147, ISSN: 0160-4120
Corada K, Woodward H, Alaraj H, et al., 2021, A systematic review of the leaf traits considered to contribute to removal of airborne particulate matter pollution in urban areas, Environmental Pollution, Vol: 269, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 0269-7491
Global urban planning has promoted green infrastructure (GI) such as street trees, shrubs or other greenspace in order to mitigate air pollution. Although considerable attention has been paid to understanding particulate matter (PM) deposition on GI, there has been little focus on identifying which leaf traits might maximise airborne PM removal. This paper examines existing literature to synthesize the state of knowledge on leaf traits most relevant to PM removal. We systematically reviewed measurement studies that evaluated particulate matter accumulated on leaves on street trees, shrubs green roofs, and green walls, for a variety of leaf traits. Our final selection included 62 papers, most from field studies and a handful from wind tunnel studies. The following were variously promoted as useful traits: coniferous needle leaves; small, rough and textured broadleaves; lanceolate and ovate shapes; waxy coatings, and high-density trichomes. Consideration of these leaf traits, many of which are also associated with drought tolerance, may help to maximise PM capture. Although effective leaf traits were identified, there is no strong or consistent evidence to identify which is the most influential leaf trait in capturing PM. The diversity in sampling methods, wide comparison groups and lack of background PM concentration measures in many studies limited our ability to synthesize results. We found that several ancillary factors contribute to variations in the accumulation of PM on leaves, thus cannot recommend that selection of urban planting species be based primarily on leaf traits. Further research into the vegetation structural features and standardization of the method to measure PM on leaves is needed.
Gascon M, Marquet O, Gràcia-Lavedan E, et al., 2020, What explains public transport use? Evidence from seven European cities, Transport Policy, Vol: 99, Pages: 362-374, ISSN: 0967-070X
Backgroundthe relationships between the built environment characteristics and personal factors influencing public transport use and the ways they interact are not well understood.Objectivewe aim to advance the understanding of the relationship between built environment and frequency of public transport use in seven European cities, while accounting for other factors, such as individual values and attitudes.Methodsin this population-based cross-sectional study, we collected information on mobility behaviour including frequency of public transport use, individual characteristics, and attitudes towards transport, environment and health issues (N = 9952). Home and work/study built environment characteristics were determined with GIS-based techniques. We also applied factor and principal component analyses to define profiles of potential correlates. Logistic regression analyses for each frequency category of public transport use (1–3 days/month, 1–3 days/week, and daily or almost daily), using as reference “never or less than once a month”, were applied. City was included as random effect.ResultsOver all, a large percentage of participants reported daily or almost daily public transport use for travel (40.5%), with a wide range across cities (from 7.1% in Örebro to 59.8% in Zurich). Being female, highly educated, a student, or not working increased the odds of higher frequency of using public transport, while having access to a car and/or a bike reduced the odds. Living or working in high-density areas was associated with higher frequency of public transport use, while living or working in low-density areas was associated with lower frequency (1–3 days/month or 1–3 days/week). We observed interactions between built environment characteristics and having access to a car and/or a bike. For instance, greater distance between the residential and the work or study address increased the odds of higher frequency of public transport use
Cruz-Piedrahita C, Howe C, de Nazelle A, 2020, Public health benefits from urban horticulture in the global north: A scoping review and framework, Global Transitions, Vol: 2, Pages: 246-256, ISSN: 2589-7918
Urban agriculture has increased rapidly in the Global North in recent decades. However, because most research has focused on developing countries, we still lack systematic information on the benefits, barriers, costs and risks of the practice of food production in cities of the Global North. Urban horticulture (UH) is the agriculture of plants for food consumption, materials production, or decoration, developed inside city boundaries. UH has recently been proposed as a tool to improve population health and urban biodiversity. This study takes a systems approach to reviewing the literature on the impacts of UH on public health, the environment and health behaviours, using the ecosystem services (ES) concept as lens. Using a scoping review methodology, 138 papers met the search criteria and these studies were used to develop a conceptual framework summarizing and synthesing the direct and indirect pathways in which urban horticulture and public health are interconnected. The resulting “eco”systems-based framework analyses and visualises the relationship between UH and public health and provides evidence for relationships (both positive and negative) between, and pathways linking, urban horticulture and benefits for mental health, physical activity, diet, and socialisation. This study demonstrates that UH can help to improve public health in cities of the Global North and makes the case for UH as a solution to tackling multiple health and societal challenges that arise in urban populations. We provide a framework to enable local authorities and urban stakeholders to maximise the benefits from, and reduce the risks related to, the practice of UH at a systems level.
Heydari S, Tainio M, Woodcock J, et al., 2020, Estimating traffic contribution to particulate matter concentration in urban areas using a multilevel Bayesian meta-regression approach, Environment International, Vol: 141, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 0160-4120
Quantifying traffic contribution to air pollution in urban settings is required to inform traffic management strategies and environmental policies that aim at improving air quality. Assessments and comparative analyses across multiple urban areas are challenged by the lack of datasets and methods available for global applications. In this study, we quantify the traffic contribution to particulate matter concentration in multiple cities worldwide by synthesising 155 previous studies reported in the World Health Organization (WHO)’s air pollution source apportionment data for PM10 and PM2.5. We employed a Bayesian multilevel meta-regression that accounts for uncertainties and captures both within- and between-study variations (in estimation methods, study protocols, etc.) through study-specific and location-specific explanatory variables. The final sample analysed in this paper covers 169 cities worldwide. Based on our analysis, traffic contribution to air pollution (particulate matter) varies from 5% to 61% in cities worldwide, with an average of 27%. We found that variability in the traffic contribution estimates reported worldwide can be explained by the region of study, publication year, PM size fraction, and population. Specifically, traffic contribution to air pollution in cities located in Europe, North America, or Oceania is on average 36% lower relative to the rest of the world. Traffic contribution is 28% lower among studies published after 2005 than those published on or before 2005. Traffic contribution is on average 24% lower among cities with less than 500,000 inhabitants and 19% higher when estimated based on PM10 relative to PM2.5. This quantitative summary overcomes challenges in the data and provides useful information for health impact modellers and decision-makers to assess impacts of traffic reduction policies.
Branion-Calles M, Gotschi T, Nelson T, et al., 2020, Cyclist crash rates and risk factors in a prospective cohort in seven European cities, Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol: 141, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 0001-4575
Increased cycling uptake can improve population health, but barriers include real and perceived risks. Crash risk factors are important to understand in order to improve safety and increase cycling uptake. Many studies of cycling crash risk are based on combining diverse sources of crash and exposure data, such as police databases (crashes) and travel surveys (exposure), based on shared geography and time. When conflating crash and exposure data from different sources, the risk factors that can be quantified are only those variables common to both datasets, which tend to be limited to geography (e.g. countries, provinces, municipalities) and a few general road user characteristics (e.g. gender and age strata). The Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) project was a prospective cohort study that collected both crash and exposure data from seven European cities (Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Örebro, Rome, Vienna and Zürich). The goal of this research was to use data from the PASTA project to quantify exposure-adjusted crash rates and model adjusted crash risk factors, including detailed sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes about transportation, neighbourhood built environment features and location by city. We used negative binomial regression to model the influence of risk factors independent of exposure. Of the 4,180 cyclists, 10.2 % reported 535 crashes. We found that overall crash rates were 6.7 times higher in London, the city with the highest crash rate, relative to Örebro, the city with the lowest rate. Differences in overall crash rates between cities are driven largely by crashes that did not require medical treatment and that involved motor-vehicles. In a parsimonious crash risk model, we found higher crash risks for less frequent cyclists, men, those who perceive cycling to not be well regarded in their neighbourhood, and those who live in areas of very high building density. Longitudinal collection of crash a
Branion-Calles M, Winters M, Nelson T, et al., 2019, Impacts of study design on sample size, participation bias, and outcome measurement: A case study from bicycling research, Journal of Transport and Health, Vol: 15, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2214-1405
IntroductionMeasuring bicycling behaviour is critical to bicycling research. A common study design question is whether to measure bicycling behaviour once (cross-sectional) or multiple times (longitudinal). The Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) project is a longitudinal cohort study of over 10,000 participants from seven European cities over two years. We used PASTA data as a case study to investigate how measuring once or multiple times impacted three factors: a) sample size b) participation bias and c) accuracy of bicycling behaviour estimates.MethodsWe compared two scenarios: i) as if only the baseline data were collected (cross-sectional approach) and ii) as if the baseline plus repeat follow-ups were collected (longitudinal approach). We compared each approach in terms of differences in sample size, distribution of sociodemographic characteristics, and bicycling behaviour. In the cross-sectional approach, we measured participants long-term bicycling behaviour by asking for recall of typical weekly habits, while in the longitudinal approach we measured by taking the average of bicycling reported for each 7-day period.ResultsRelative to longitudinal, the cross-sectional approach provided a larger sample size and slightly better representation of certain sociodemographic groups, with worse estimates of long-term bicycling behaviour. The longitudinal approach suffered from participation bias, especially the drop-out of more frequent bicyclists. The cross-sectional approach under-estimated the proportion of the population that bicycled, as it captured ‘typical’ behaviour rather than 7-day recall. The magnitude and directionality of the difference between typical weekly (cross-sectional approach) and the average 7-day recall (longitudinal approach) varied depending on how much bicycling was initially reported.ConclusionsIn our case study we found that measuring bicycling once, resulted in a larger sample with better repres
Yang L, van Dam KH, Anvari B, et al., 2019, Evaluating the impact of an integrated urban design of transport infrastructure and public space on human behavior and environmental quality: a case study in Beijing, Social Simulation Conference 2017, Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Pages: 121-133, ISSN: 2213-8684
Urban transport infrastructure can result in the physical, psychological and environmental separation of neighborhoods, public spaces and pedestrian networks, leading to negative impacts on citizens’ daily commutes, social activities and the quality of the ecosystem. An integrated design of transport infrastructure and public space is beneficial for mediating these negative impacts. In this paper, we propose an integrated methodology, which combines urban design, computational scenario evaluation and decision-making processes, based on a conceptual model of human and ecological needs-driven planning. To evaluate the impacts of the road network and public space design on individual outdoor activities, travel behavior and air pollution, an agent-based model is demonstrated. This model is then applied to a case study in Beijing, leading to hourly traffic volume maps and car-related air pollution heat maps of a baseline road network-public space design.
Dons E, Laeremans M, Orjuela JP, et al., 2019, Transport most likely to cause air pollution peak exposures in everyday life: Evidence from over 2000 days of personal monitoring, Atmospheric Environment, Vol: 213, Pages: 424-432, ISSN: 1352-2310
BackgroundAir quality standards are typically based on long term averages – whereas a person may encounter exposure peaks throughout the day. Exposure peaks may contribute meaningfully to health impacts beyond their contribution to long term averages, and therefore should be considered alongside longer-term exposures. We aim to define and explain peak exposure to black carbon air pollution and look at the relationship between short peak exposures and longer term personal exposure.MethodsA peak detection algorithm was applied to pooled data from two independent studies. High-resolution personal black carbon monitoring was performed in 175 healthy adult volunteers for a minimum of two 24-h periods per person. At the same time, we retrieved information on the time-activity pattern. Data covered Belgium, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In total, 2053 monitoring days were included.ResultsExposure profiles revealed 2.8 ± 1.6 (avg ± SD) peaks per person per day. The average black carbon concentration during a peak was 4206 ng/m³. On 5.5% of the time participants were exposed to peak concentrations, but this contributed to 21.0% of their total exposure. The short time in transport (8%), was responsible for 32.7% of the peaks. 24.1% of the measurements in transport were categorized as peak exposure; while sleeping this was only 0.9%. When considering transport modes, participants were most likely to encounter peaks while cycling (34.0%). Most peaks were encountered at rush hour, from Monday through Friday, and in the cold season. Gender and age had no impact on the presence of peaks. Daily average black carbon exposure showed only a moderate correlation with peak frequency (r = 0.44). This correlation coefficient increased when considering longer term exposure to r > 0.60 from 10 days onward.ConclusionsThe occurrence of peaks varied substantially over time, across microenvironments and transport modes. Daily average exposure was moderately correlat
An R, Shen J, Ying B, et al., 2019, Impact of ambient air pollution on physical activity and sedentary behavior in China: A systematic review, Environmental Research, Vol: 176, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 0013-9351
This study systematically reviewed scientific evidence linking ambient air pollution to physical activity and sedentary behavior in China. A keyword and reference search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library. Predetermined selection criteria included—study designs: interventions or experiments, retrospective or prospective cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, and case-control studies; subjects: people of all ages; exposures: specific air pollutants and/or overall air quality; outcomes: physical activity and/or sedentary behavior; and country/area: mainland China. Ten studies met the selection criteria and were included in the review. Six adopted a cross-sectional design and the remaining four adopted a prospective cohort design. Four studies assessed a specific air pollutant namely particulate matter with diameter <2.5 μg/m3 (PM2.5), whereas the remaining six focused on overall air quality, defined using air quality indexes. Decline in overall air quality and increase in PM2.5 concentration were found to be associated with reduced daily/weekly duration of outdoor leisure-time and/or transportation-related physical activity such as walking but increased duration of daytime/nighttime sleeping among Chinese residents. In contrast, evidence linking overall air quality and PM2.5 concentration to sedentary behavior remains mixed and inconclusive. In conclusion, preliminary evidence indicates that ambient air pollution impacts Chinese residents’ daily physical activity-related behaviors. Future studies adopting objective measures of physical activity and a longitudinal or experimental study design are warranted to examine the impact of air pollution on sensitive sub-populations such as children, older adults and people with pre-existing conditions, and in locations outside China.
Gascon M, Götschi T, de Nazelle A, et al., 2019, Correlates of walking for travel in seven European cities: The PASTA project., Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol: 127, Pages: 097003-1-097003-13, ISSN: 0091-6765
BACKGROUND: Although walking for travel can help in reaching the daily recommended levels of physical activity, we know relatively little about the correlates of walking for travel in the European context. OBJECTIVE: Within the framework of the European Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) project, we aimed to explore the correlates of walking for travel in European cities. METHODS: The same protocol was applied in seven European cities. Using a web-based questionnaire, we collected information on total minutes of walking per week, individual characteristics, mobility behavior, and attitude ( N = 7,875 ). Characteristics of the built environment (the home and the work/study addresses) were determined with geographic information system (GIS)-based techniques. We conducted negative binomial regression analyses, including city as a random effect. Factor and principal component analyses were also conducted to define profiles of the different variables of interest. RESULTS: Living in high-density residential areas with richness of facilities and density of public transport stations was associated with increased walking for travel, whereas the same characteristics at the work/study area were less strongly associated with the outcome when the residential and work/study environments were entered in the model jointly. A walk-friendly social environment was associated with walking for travel. All three factors describing different opinions about walking (ranging from good to bad) were associated with increased minutes of walking per week, although the importance given to certain criteria to choose a mode of transport provided different results according to the criteria. DISCUSSION: The present study supports findings from previous research regarding the role of the built environment in the promotion o
Keidel D, Maria Anto J, Basagana X, et al., 2019, The role of socioeconomic status in the association of lung function and air pollution - A pooled analysis of three adult ESCAPE cohorts, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1660-4601
Ambient air pollution is a leading environmental risk factor and its broad spectrum ofadverse health effects includes a decrease in lung function. Socioeconomic status (SES) is knownto be associated with both air pollution exposure and respiratory function. This study assesses therole of SES either as confounder or effect modifier of the association between ambient air pollutionand lung function. Cross-sectional data from three European multicenter adult cohorts were pooledto assess factors associated with lung function, including annual means of home outdoor NO2.Pre-bronchodilator lung function was measured according to the ATS-criteria. Multiple mixedlinear models with random intercepts for study areas were used. Three different factors (education,occupation and neighborhood unemployment rate) were considered to represent SES. NO2 exposurewas negatively associated with lung function. Occupation and neighborhood unemployment rateswere not associated with lung function. However, the inclusion of the SES-variable education improvedthe models and the air pollution-lung function associations got slightly stronger. NO2 associationswith lung function were not substantially modified by SES-variables. In this multicenter Europeanstudy we could show that SES plays a role as a confounder in the association of ambient NO2 exposurewith lung function.
Castro A, Gaupp-Berghausen M, Dons E, et al., 2019, Physical activity of electric bicycle users compared to conventional bicycle users and non-cyclists: Insights based on health and transport data from an online survey in seven European cities, Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Vol: 1, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 2590-1982
Physical activity has been widely associated with beneficial health effects. The use of electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes) can lead to increased or decreased physical activity, depending on the transport mode substituted.This study aimed to compare physical activity levels of e-bikers and conventional bicycle users (cyclists) as well as across e-bike user groups based on the transport mode substituted by e-bike. Physical activity, transport and user related parameters were analysed. Data from the longitudinal on-line survey of the PASTA project were used. The survey recruited over 10,000 participants in seven European cities.Physical activity levels, measured in Metabolic Equivalent Task minutes per week (MET min/wk), were similar among e-bikers and cyclists (4463 vs. 4085). E-bikers reported significantly longer trip distances for both e-bike (9.4 km) and bicycle trips (8.4 km) compared to cyclists for bicycle trips (4.8 km), as well as longer daily travel distances for e-bike than cyclists for bicycle (8.0 vs. 5.3 km per person, per day, respectively). Travel-related activities of e-bikers who switched from cycling decreased by around 200 MET min/wk., while those switching from private motorized vehicle and public transport gained around 550 and 800 MET min/wk. respectively.Therefore, this data suggests that e-bike use leads to substantial increases in physical activity in e-bikers switching from private motorized vehicle and public transport, while net losses in physical activity in e-bikers switching from cycling were much less due to increases in overall travel distance.
Avila-Palencia I, Laeremans M, Hoffmann B, et al., 2019, Effects of physical activity and air pollution on blood pressure, Environmental Research, Vol: 173, Pages: 387-396, ISSN: 0013-9351
AIM: To assess the main and interaction effects of black carbon and physical activity on arterial blood pressure in a healthy adult population from three European cities using objective personal measurements over short-term (hours and days) and long-term exposure. METHODS: A panel study of 122 healthy adults was performed in three European cities (Antwerp, Barcelona, and London). In 3 seasons between March 2015 and March 2016, each participant wore sensors for one week to objectively measure their exposure to black carbon and monitor their physical activity continuously. Blood pressure was assessed three times during the week: at the beginning (day 0), in the middle (day 4), and at the end (day 7). Associations of black carbon and physical activity with blood pressure and their interactions were investigated with linear regression models and multiplicative interaction terms, adjusting for all the potential confounders. RESULTS: In multiple exposure models, we did not see any effects of black carbon on blood pressure but did see effects on systolic blood pressure of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity effect that were statistically significant from 1 h to 8 h after exposure and for long-term exposure. For a 1METhour increase of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, the difference in the expected mean systolic blood pressure varied from -1.46 mmHg (95%CI -2.11, -0.80) for 1 h mean exposure, to -0.29 mmHg (95%CI -0.55, -0.03) for 8 h mean exposure, and -0.05 mmHg (95%CI -0.09, -0.00) for long-term exposure. There were little to no interaction effects. CONCLUSIONS: Results from this study provide evidence that short-term and long-term exposure to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity is associated with a decrease in systolic blood pressure levels. We did not find evidence for a consistent main effect of black carbon on blood pressure, nor any interaction between black carbon and physical activity levels.
Gaupp-Berghausen M, Raser E, Anaya-Boig E, et al., 2019, Evaluation of different recruitment methods: Longitudinal, web-based, pan-European physical activity through sustainable transport approaches (PASTA) project, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Vol: 21, ISSN: 1438-8871
Background:Sufficient sample size and minimal sample bias are core requirements in empirical data analyses. Combining opportunistic recruitment with an online survey and data collection platform yields new benefits compared to traditional recruitment approaches.Objective:The objective of this paper is to report on the success of different recruitment methods to obtain participantsâ€™ characteristics, participation behavior, recruitment rates, and representativeness of the sample.Methods:A longitudinal online survey was implemented as part of the European PASTA project, which was online between November 2014 and December 2016. During this period participants in seven European cities were recruited on a rolling basis. For all cities to reach a sufficient number of adult participants a standardized guide on recruitment strategy was developed. In order to make use of the strengths and to minimize weakness a combination of different opportunistic recruitment methods was applied. In addition, the city of Oerebro applied random sampling approach. In order to reduce attrition rate and improve real-time monitoring the online platform featured a participant and a researchers` user interface and dashboard.Results:A total of 10,691 participants were recruited. Most people found out about the survey through their workplace or employer (21.5 %), outreach promotion (20.8 %), and social media (17.4 %). The average number of questionnaires filled-in per participant varied between the cities, with the highest number in Zurich (11.0 Â± 0.33) and the lowest in Oerebro (4.8 Â± 0.17). Collaboration with local organizations, the use of Facebook and mailing lists, and direct street recruitment were the most effective approaches in reaching a high share of participants (p = <.001). Under consideration of invested working hours Facebook (p = <.001) was one of the most time-efficient methods. Compared to the cities census data, the composition
Gaupp-Berghausen M, Raser E, Anaya-Boig E, et al., 2019, Evaluating different recruitment methods in a longitudinal survey: Findings from the pan-European PASTA project, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Vol: 21, ISSN: 1438-8871
Background: Sufficient sample size and minimal sample bias are core requirements for empirical data analyses. Combining opportunistic recruitment with a Web-based survey and data-collection platform yields new benefits over traditional recruitment approaches.Objective: This paper aims to report the success of different recruitment methods and obtain data on participants’ characteristics, participation behavior, recruitment rates, and representativeness of the sample.Methods: A longitudinal, Web-based survey was implemented as part of the European PASTA (Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches) project, between November 2014 and December 2016. During this period, participants were recruited from 7 European cities on a rolling basis. A standardized guide on recruitment strategy was developed for all cities, to reach a sufficient number of adult participants. To make use of the strengths and minimize weakness, a combination of different opportunistic recruitment methods was applied. In addition, the random sampling approach was applied in the city of Örebro. To reduce the attrition rate and improve real-time monitoring, the Web-based platform featured a participant’s and a researchers’ user interface and dashboard.Results: Overall, 10,691 participants were recruited; most people found out about the survey through their workplace or employer (2300/10691, 21.51%), outreach promotion (2219/10691, 20.76%), and social media (1859/10691, 17.39%). The average number of questionnaires filled in per participant varied significantly between the cities (P<.001), with the highest number in Zurich (11.0, SE 0.33) and the lowest in Örebro (4.8, SE 0.17). Collaboration with local organizations, the use of Facebook and mailing lists, and direct street recruitment were the most effective approaches in reaching a high share of participants (P<.001). Considering the invested working hours, Facebook was one of the most time-efficient me
Gerike R, de Nazelle A, Wittwer R, et al., 2019, Special issue "walking and cycling for better transport, health and the environment", Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Vol: 123, Pages: 1-6, ISSN: 0191-2607
Haddad H, de Nazelle A, 2018, The role of personal air pollution sensors and smartphone technology in changing travel behaviour, Journal of Transport and Health, Vol: 11, Pages: 230-243, ISSN: 2214-1405
Exposure to air pollution is affected by human behaviour, and has consequences for individual and collective health. One way to lessen the health effects of air pollution is to change personal travel behaviour with the help of new information, communication and sensing technologies. Our social research tracked the experiences of participants, air quality and technology enthusiasts, based in London who financially contributed to participate in an early-stage technical trial of a new air pollution sensor and app providing individuals with air pollution information (specifically levels of NO2 and VOCs). This paper reports the results of a before and after survey (returning respondents n = 22) and 12 in-depth interviews with individuals who took part in the beta test of the sensor and phone app. The survey results show that travel-related behaviours and attitudes relevant to air pollution did not change after using the technology. In contrast, expectations of technology performance and the extent it would influence behaviours were significantly lower after the trial than before. Further exploration during semi-structured interviews found that the participants, given their already high level of engagement with the topic, felt the capacity for immediate individual behaviour change was limited. As well as time and practical constraints, most people in this sample felt they were already doing what they could to avoid high levels of air pollution in their daily lives. Despite this, they had some recommendations to improve the app, such as the inclusion of real-time and historic maps, and the ability to make self and other comparisons. Overwhelmingly, people saw a broader role for the technology to engage the public with air pollution through raising awareness, and harnessing citizen science to collect diverse reliable data to inform policy and influence local policymakers to reduce air pollution levels.
Avila-Palencia I, Int Panis L, Dons E, et al., 2018, The effects of transport mode use on self-perceived health, mental health, and social contact measures: a cross-sectional and longitudinal study, Environment International, Vol: 120, Pages: 199-206, ISSN: 0160-4120
BACKGROUND: Transport mode choice has been associated with different health risks and benefits depending on which transport mode is used. We aimed to evaluate the association between different transport modes use and several health and social contact measures. METHODS: We based our analyses on the Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) longitudinal study, conducted over a period of two years in seven European cities. 8802 participants finished the baseline questionnaire, and 3567 answered the final questionnaire. Participants were 18 years of age or older (16 years of age or older in Zurich) and lived, worked and/or studied in one of the case-study cities. Associations between transport mode use and health/social contact measures were estimated using mixed-effects logistic regression models, linear regression models, and logistic regression models according to the data available. All the associations were assessed with single and multiple transport mode models. All models were adjusted for potential confounders. RESULTS: In multiple transport mode models, bicycle use was associated with good self-perceived health [OR (CI 95%) = 1.07 (1.05, 1.08)], all the mental health measures [perceived stress: coef (CI 95%) = -0.016 (-0.028, -0.004); mental health: coef (CI 95%) = 0.11 (0.05, 0.18); vitality: coef (CI 95%) = 0.14 (0.07, 0.22)], and with fewer feelings of loneliness [coef (CI 95%) = -0.03 (-0.05, -0.01)]. Walking was associated with good self-perceived health [OR (CI 95%) = 1.02 (1.00, 1.03)], higher vitality [coef (CI 95%) = 0.14 (0.05, 0.23)], and more frequent contact with friends/family [OR (CI 95%) = 1.03 (1.00, 1.05)]. Car use was associated with fewer feelings of loneliness [coef (CI 95%) = -0.04 (-0.06, -0.02)]. The results for e-bike and public transport use were non-significant, and the results for motorbike use were inconclusive. CONCLUSIONS: Similarity of findings across cities suggested that active transport, especially bic
Dons E, Rojas-Rueda D, Anaya-Boig E, et al., 2018, Transport mode choice and body mass index: Cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence from a European-wide study., Environment International, Vol: 119, Pages: 109-116, ISSN: 0160-4120
BACKGROUND: In the fight against rising overweight and obesity levels, and unhealthy urban environments, the renaissance of active mobility (cycling and walking as a transport mode) is encouraging. Transport mode has been shown to be associated to body mass index (BMI), yet there is limited longitudinal evidence demonstrating causality. We aimed to associate transport mode and BMI cross-sectionally, but also prospectively in the first ever European-wide longitudinal study on transport and health. METHODS: Data were from the PASTA project that recruited adults in seven European cities (Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Oerebro, Rome, Vienna, Zurich) to complete a series of questionnaires on travel behavior, physical activity levels, and BMI. To assess the association between transport mode and BMI as well as change in BMI we performed crude and adjusted linear mixed-effects modeling for cross-sectional (n = 7380) and longitudinal (n = 2316) data, respectively. RESULTS: Cross-sectionally, BMI was 0.027 kg/m2 (95%CI 0.015 to 0.040) higher per additional day of car use per month. Inversely, BMI was -0.010 kg/m2 (95%CI -0.020 to -0.0002) lower per additional day of cycling per month. Changes in BMI were smaller in the longitudinal within-person assessment, however still statistically significant. BMI decreased in occasional (less than once per week) and non-cyclists who increased cycling (-0.303 kg/m2, 95%CI -0.530 to -0.077), while frequent (at least once per week) cyclists who stopped cycling increased their BMI (0.417 kg/m2, 95%CI 0.033 to 0.802). CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses showed that people lower their BMI when starting or increasing cycling, demonstrating the health benefits of active mobility.
Kahlmeier S, Boig EA, Smeds E, et al., 2018, Developing a score to assess the policy environment for cycling and walking promotion in cities: Results of a feasibility study, Publisher: HUMAN KINETICS PUBL INC, Pages: S79-S80, ISSN: 1543-3080
de Nazelle A, Northover G, Heydari S, 2018, Air pollution exposures while walking and cycling, Publisher: HUMAN KINETICS PUBL INC, Pages: S9-S9, ISSN: 1543-3080
Laeremans M, Dons E, Avila-Palencia I, et al., 2018, Black Carbon Reduces the Beneficial Effect of Physical Activity on Lung Function, MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE, Vol: 50, Pages: 1875-1881, ISSN: 0195-9131
Introduction When physical activity is promoted in urban outdoor settings (e.g., walking and cycling), individuals are also exposed to FEV<sub xmlns:mrws="http://webservices.ovid.com/mrws/1.0">1</sub>|AIR POLLUTION|ACTIVE MOBILITY. It has been reported that short-term lung function increases as a response to physical activity, but this beneficial effect is hampered when elevated FEV<sub xmlns:mrws="http://webservices.ovid.com/mrws/1.0">1</sub>|AIR POLLUTION|ACTIVE MOBILITY concentrations are observed. Our study assessed the long-term impact of FEV<sub xmlns:mrws="http://webservices.ovid.com/mrws/1.0">1</sub>|AIR POLLUTION|ACTIVE MOBILITY on the pulmonary health benefit of physical activity.Methods Wearable sensors were used to monitor physical activity levels (SenseWear) and exposure to black carbon (microAeth) of 115 healthy adults during 1 wk in three European cities (Antwerp, Barcelona, London). The experiment was repeated in three different seasons to approximate long-term behavior. Spirometry tests were performed at the beginning and end of each measurement week. All results were averaged on a participant level as a proxy for long-term lung function. Mixed effect regression models were used to analyze the long-term impact of physical activity, black carbon and their interaction on lung function parameters, forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), FEV1/FVC, forced expiratory flow (FEF)25–75, and peak expiratory flow. Interaction plots were used to interpret the significant interaction effects.Results Negative interaction effects of physical activity and black carbon exposure on FEV1 (P = 0.07), FEV1/FVC (P = 0.03), and FEF25–75 (P = 0.03) were observed. For black carbon concentrations up to approximately 1 μg·m−3, an additional MET·h−1·wk−1 resulted in a trend toward lung function increases (FEV1, FEV1/F
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