Cycle commuting and perceptions of barriers: Stages of change, gender and occupation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate perceptions of cycle commuting barriers in relation to stage of change, gender and occupational role. Stage of change is a key construct of the transtheoretical model of behaviour change that defines behavioural readiness (intentions and actions) into five distinct categories. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional online questionnaire was completed by staff and PhD students (n=831) based in cycle-friendly buildings in a large UK university. The questionnaire included questions relating to demographics, stages of behaviour change and 18 potential barriers. Data were analysed using t-tests, one-way ANOVAs and two-way ANOVAs. Findings: Overall, environmental factors were perceived as the biggest barriers to cycle commuting. However, perceptions of cycle commuting barriers significantly differed between stages of change, genders and occupational roles. Precontemplators, females and support staff commonly perceived greater barriers to cycle commuting compared to maintainers, males and academic staff. Practical implications: The results indicate that tailored individual-level behaviour change interventions focusing on reducing perceptions of barriers that take into account stage of change, gender and occupational differences may play a role in encouraging people to cycle to work. Originality/value: The study reveals evidence of a significant subjective element involved in perception formation of some potential barriers associated with cycle commuting. Women not only hold stronger perceptions compared to males of risk-orientated barriers but also of more general barriers associated with cycle commuting. The findings also suggest that occupational roles may influence an individual's perceptions of cycle commuting barriers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-497
Number of pages22
JournalHealth Education
Volume111
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Barriers
  • Commuting
  • Cycling
  • Employees
  • Gender
  • Individual behaviour
  • Occupation
  • United Kingdom

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