DATA INSIGHTS -The health and economic benefits of active commuting in Scotland

Our ‘Data Insights’ briefings share snapshots of findings from research being conducted across the centre. This week, we hear from Dr Graham Baker, on the above subject.

It is widely accepted that regular, moderate physical activity has positive impacts on health. National policy and strategy places increasing emphasis on its importance, particularly given the inadequate levels of physical activity and increasing prevalence of obesity that is evident among Scottish children and adults. 

Previous research in the area of active commuting was often challenging given the poor availability of data sources. However, using Scottish Census data from 2001 and 2011, this research provides estimates of the health and economic benefits of walking and cycling for commuting purposes at a national level in Scotland.

Our Data Insights provide clear evidence of the substantial benefits which can be generated from even modest levels of active commuting. These results can be used by local authorities, and other organisations, to continue to champion for greater promotion of active travel.

Having successfully created a baseline set of active travel and health metrics for Scotland, Dr Baker and his research team intend to complete further analyses including on the sociodemographic patterning of active commuting in Scotland.

Further Information

Read the full Data Insights to discover the key findings on active commuting levels over time and the quantifiable benefits.


This article was published on 26 Oct 2020