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Evaluating the travel, physical activity and carbon impacts of a 'natural experiment' in the provision of new walking and cycling infrastructur e : methods for the core module of the iConnect study

Ogilvie, David and Bull, Fiona and Cooper, Ashley and Rutter, Harry and Adams, Emma and Brand, Christian and Ghali, Karen and Jones, Tim and Mutrie, Nanette and Powell, Jane and Preston, John and Sahlqvist, Shannon and Song, Yena and , on behalf of the iConnect Consortium (2012) Evaluating the travel, physical activity and carbon impacts of a 'natural experiment' in the provision of new walking and cycling infrastructur e : methods for the core module of the iConnect study. BMJ Open, 2 (1).

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Abstract

Improving infrastructure to support walking and cycling is often regarded as fundamental to encouraging their widespread uptake. However, there is little evidence that specific provision of this kind has led to a significant increase in walking or cycling in practice, let alone wider impacts such as changes in overall physical activity or carbon emissions. Connect2 is a major new project that aims to promote walking and cycling in the UK by improving local pedestrian and cycle routes. It therefore provides a useful opportunity to contribute new evidence in this field by means of a natural experimental study. Connect is an independent study that aims to integrate the perspectives of public health and transport research on the measurement and evaluation of the travel, physical activity and carbon impacts of the Connect2 programme. In this paper, the authors report the study design and methods for the iConnect core module. This comprised a cohort study of residents living within 5 km of three case study Connect2 projects in Cardiff, Kenilworth and Southampton, supported by a programme of qualitative interviews with key informants about the projects. Participants were asked to complete postal questionnaires, repeated before and after the opening of the new infrastructure, which collected data on demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, travel, car fuel purchasing and physical activity, and potential psychosocial and environmental correlates and mediators of those behaviours. In the absence of suitable no-intervention control groups, the study design drew on heterogeneity in exposure both within and between case study samples to provide for a counterfactual. The study was approved by the University of Southampton Research Ethics Committee. The findings will be disseminated through academic presentations, peer-reviewed publications and the study website (http://www.iconnect.ac.uk) and by means of a national seminar at the end of the study.

Item type: Article
ID code: 40302
Keywords: exercise, physical activity, carbon impacts , walking, cycling, Personal health and hygiene, including exercise, nutrition , Medicine(all)
Subjects: Medicine > Public aspects of medicine > Personal health and hygiene, including exercise, nutrition
Department: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) > School of Psychological Science and Health > Physical Activity for Health
Related URLs:
Depositing user: Pure Administrator
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2012 14:33
Last modified: 27 Mar 2014 10:15
URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/40302

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