Correlates of Commuter Cycling in Three Norwegian Counties

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Nov 8;16(22):4372. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16224372.


Globally, there is an increasing challenge of physical inactivity and associated diseases. Commuter cycling is an everyday physical activity with great potential to increase the health status in a population. We aimed to evaluate the association of self-reported factors and objectively measured environmental factors in residence and along commuter routes and assessed the probability of being a commuter cyclist in Norway. Our study included respondents from a web-based survey in three Norwegian counties and we used a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to evaluate the natural and built environment. Of the 1196 respondents, 488 were classified as commuter cyclists. Self-reported factors as having access to an e-bike (OR 5.99 [CI: 3.71-9.69]), being physically active (OR 2.56 [CI: 1.42-4.60]) and good self-rated health (OR 1.92 [CI: 1.20-3.07]) increased the probability of being a cyclist, while being overweight or obese (OR 0.71 [CI: 0.54-0.94]) reduced the probability. Environmental factors, such as high population density (OR 1.49 [CI: 1.05-2.12]) increased the probability, while higher slope (trend p = 0.020), total elevation along commuter route (trend p = 0.001), and >5 km between home and work (OR 0.17 [CI: 0.13-0.23]) decreased the probability of being a cyclist. In the present study, both self-reported and environmental factors were associated with being a cyclist. With the exception of being in good health, the characteristics of cyclists in Norway, a country with a low share of cyclists, seem to be similar to countries with a higher share of cyclists. With better knowledge about characteristics of cyclists, we may design better interventions and campaigns to increase the share of commuter cyclists.

Keywords: GIS; active commuting; active travel; adults; bicycle; public employees.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bicycling / statistics & numerical data*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transportation / statistics & numerical data*