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Psychosocial and environmental correlates of active and passive transport behaviors in college educated and non-college educated working young adults

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      BackgroundThis study aimed to examine potential differences in walking, cycling, public transport and passive transport (car/moped/motorcycle) to work and to other destinations between college and non-college educated working young adults. Secondly, we aimed to investigate which psychosocial and environmental factors are associated with the four transport modes and whether these associations differ between college and non-college educated working young adults.MethodsIn this cross-sectional study, 224 working young adults completed an online questionnaire assessing socio-demographic variables (8 items), psychosocial variables (6 items), environmental variables (10 items) and transport mode (4 types) and duration to work/other destinations. Zero-inflated negative binomial regression models were performed in R.ResultsA trend (p<0.10) indicated that more college educated compared to non-college educated young adults participated in cycling and public transport. However, another trend indicated that cycle time and public transport trips were longer and passive transport trips were shorter in non-college compared to college educated working young adults. In all working young adults, high self-efficacy towards active transport, and high perceived benefits and low perceived barriers towards active and public transport were related to more active and public transport. High social support/norm/modeling towards active, public and passive transport was related to more active, public and passive transport. High neighborhood walkability was related to more walking and less passive transport. Only in non-college educated working young adults, feeling safe from traffic and crime in their neighborhood was related to more active and public transport and less passive transport.ConclusionsEducational levels should be taken into account when promoting healthy transport behaviors in working young adults. Among non-college educated working young adults, focus should be on increasing active and public transport participation and on increasing neighborhood safety to increase active and public transport use. Among college educated working young adults, more minutes of active transport should be encouraged.

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            Author and article information

            [1 ]Unit Health Promotion and Education, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185, Ghent, Belgium
            [2 ]Research unit Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health, Faculty of Physical Education and Physical Therapy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, Brussels, Belgium
            [3 ]Research Foundation Flanders, Egmontstraat 5, Brussels, Belgium
            [4 ]Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Watersportlaan 2, Ghent, Belgium
            [5 ]Human Physiology Research Group, Faculty of Physical Education and Physical Therapy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, Brussels, Belgium
            [6 ]Central Queensland University, School for Health, Medical and Applied Science, Physical Activity Research Group, Rockhampton QLD, Australia
            University of Edinburgh, UNITED KINGDOM
            Author notes

            Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

            • Conceptualization: DS PC IDB BDG CV BD.

            • Formal analysis: DS.

            • Funding acquisition: DS.

            • Investigation: DS.

            • Methodology: DS PC IDB BDG CV BD.

            • Project administration: DS.

            • Resources: DS.

            • Software: DS.

            • Supervision: BD.

            • Validation: DS.

            • Visualization: DS KDC JVC PC IDB BDG CV BD.

            • Writing – original draft: DS.

            • Writing – review & editing: DS KDC JVC PC IDB BDG CV BD.

            Role: Editor
            PLoS One
            PLoS ONE
            PLoS ONE
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
            20 March 2017
            : 12
            : 3
            © 2017 Simons et al

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            Figures: 0, Tables: 7, Pages: 22
            Funded by: funder-id, Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek;
            Award ID: 11U8114N
            Award Recipient : ORCID:
            DS and JVC were supported by a PhD fellowship of The Research Foundation - Flanders ( (11U8114N and 11N0313N, respectively). KDC is supported by The Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) ( (postdoctoral research fellowship: FWO11/PDO/097). CV is supported by a National Heart Foundation of Australia Future Leader Fellowship ( (ID 100427). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
            Research Article
            Social Sciences
            Educational Attainment
            People and Places
            Population Groupings
            Age Groups
            Young Adults
            Earth Sciences
            Human Geography
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            Social Sciences
            Human Geography
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            Medicine and Health Sciences
            Health Care
            Psychological and Psychosocial Issues
            Biology and Life Sciences
            Biological Locomotion
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