Differences in the social patterning of active travel between urban and rural populations: findings from a large UK household survey

Int J Public Health. 2014 Dec;59(6):993-8. doi: 10.1007/s00038-014-0578-2. Epub 2014 Jun 26.


Objectives: To determine the social patterning of active travel of short journeys for urban and rural residents in a large UK representative sample.

Methods: Associations between frequently walking or cycling short journeys and socio-demographic factors in the UK Household Longitudinal Study were determined using logistic regression.

Results: Urban residents were 64 % more likely to frequently engage in active travel than rural residents (95 % CI 1.52, 1.77). Being younger, male, without full-time employment and having a lower income independently predicted greater active travel for both urban and rural residents. Degree level education and not having children were independent predictors for urban, but not rural residents.

Conclusions: Actively travelling short journeys is less common and independently associated with fewer socio-demographic factors in rural than in urban populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Bicycling / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United Kingdom
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Walking / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult