Public employees in South-Western Norway using an e-bike or a regular bike for commuting: A cross-sectional comparison on sociodemographic factors, commuting frequency and commuting distance
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionPreventive Medicine Reports. 2019, 14, 100881. 10.1016/j.pmedr.2019.100881
Large-scale analyses on the travel behavior of e-bikes are scarce, and current knowledge regarding who the e- bike owners are is inconsistent. Also, commuters represent a relevant user group with an unexploited potential. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to examine (i) associations between type of bike (e-bike vs. regular bike) with place of residence (county), sociodemographic variables (age, sex, educational level, income and ethnicity) and habitual physical activity level, and (ii) if public employees possessing an e-bike cycle more often and longer distances to work. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2017 among 1977 (5.2% of eligible subjects) public employees in Southern and Western Norway. Binary and multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted. Respondents possessing an e-bike were less likely to perform high levels of leisure time physical activity (OR 0.56 (CI 0.39-0.82)), compared to those possessing a regular bike only. For those residing in Agder, the likelihood of possessing an e-bike (vs. regular bike) was almost 4 times higher (OR 3.98 (CI 2.53- 6.26)), compared with participants residing in Sogn og Fjordane. Compared with those possessing a regular bike only, e-bike users cycled more frequently to work, both occasionally (OR 3.71 (CI 2.44-5.65)) and most of the time (OR 4.28 (CI 2.79-6.55)), and they had higher odds of cycling medium distances to the workplace (OR 1.74 (CI 1.04-2.90)). In conclusion, e-bike access could result in increased commuter cycling, both in terms of cycling frequency and cycling distance, which in turn could contribute to enhanced physical activity levels.
This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).