Does Walking and Bicycling More Mean Exercising Less? Evidence from the US and the Netherlands

Active travel (AT), such as utilitarian walking and bicycling, may address public health challenges such as obesity and poor cardiovascular health if increased AT results in an increase in overall physical activity. However, it is possible that AT may substitute for other forms of exercise, because time in the day is limited and AT time may crowd out exercise time, because people who travel actively may see less need to get other forms of exercise for health purposes, or because AT causes fatigue that discourages other forms of exercise. The authors investigate this question using time use data from the American Time Use Survey and the Dutch Tijdsbestedingsonderzoek. The authors utilize Cragg two-part hurdle models to explore 1) demographic determinants of time spent on active travel, and 2) demographic determinants of exercise time, with the time spent on active travel as the independent variable of interest. In both data sets, the authors find that time spent exercising is statistically independent of time spent engaging in active travel. Thus it appears active travel does not substitute for other forms of exercise and thus adds to total daily physical activity, with the health benefits that may flow from this.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ADD50 Standing Committee on Environmental Justice in Transportation.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 9p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697800
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-01080
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 1 2019 3:51PM