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. 2016 Jan;13(1):36-43.
doi: 10.1123/jpah.2014-0469. Epub 2015 Apr 21.

Sociodemographic Factors, Population Density, and Bicycling for Transportation in the United States

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Sociodemographic Factors, Population Density, and Bicycling for Transportation in the United States

Eileen K Nehme et al. J Phys Act Health. .

Abstract

Background: Transportation bicycling is a behavior with demonstrated health benefits. Population-representative studies of transportation bicycling in United States are lacking. This study examined associations between sociodemographic factors, population density, and transportation bicycling and described transportation bicyclists by trip purposes, using a US-representative sample.

Methods: This cross-sectional study used 2009 National Household Travel Survey datasets. Associations among study variables were assessed using weighted multivariable logistic regression.

Results: On a typical day in 2009, 1% of Americans older than 5 years of age reported a transportation bicycling trip. Transportation cycling was inversely associated with age and directly with being male, with being white, and with population density (≥ 10,000 vs < 500 people/square mile: odd ratio, 2.78, 95% confidence interval, 1.54-5.05). Those whose highest level of education was a high school diploma or some college were least likely to bicycle for transportation. Twenty-one percent of transportation bicyclists reported trips to work, whereas 67% reported trips to social or other activities.

Conclusions: Transportation bicycling in the United States is associated with sociodemographic characteristics and population density. Bicycles are used for a variety of trip purposes, which has implications for transportation bicycling research based on commuter data and for developing interventions to promote this behavior.

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