Bicycle commuting and exposure to air pollution: A questionnaire-based investigation of perceptions, symptoms and risk management strategies

Cole-Hunter, Thomas Anthony, Morawska, Lidia, & Solomon, Colin (2015) Bicycle commuting and exposure to air pollution: A questionnaire-based investigation of perceptions, symptoms and risk management strategies. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 12(4), pp. 490-499.

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An increase in bicycle commuting participation may improve public health and traffic congestion in cities. Information on air pollution exposure (such as perception, symptoms and risk management) contributes to the responsible promotion of bicycle commuting participation.


To determine perceptions, symptoms and willingness for specific exposure risk management strategies of exposure to air pollution, a questionnaire-based cross-sectional investigation was conducted with adult bicycle commuters (n = 153; age = 41 ± 11 yr; 28% female).


Frequency of acute respiratory signs and symptoms are positively-associated with in- and post-commute compared to pre-commute time periods (p < 0.05); greater positive-association is with respiratory disorder compared to healthy, and female compared to male, participants. The perception (although not signs or symptoms) of in-commute exposure to air pollution is positive-associated with the estimated level of in-commute proximity to motorised traffic. The majority of participants indicated a willingness (which varied with health status and gender) to adopt risk management strategies (with certain practical features) if shown to be appropriate and effective.


While acute signs and symptoms of air pollution exposure are indicated with bicycle commuting, and more so in susceptible individuals, there is willingness to manage exposure risk by adopting effective strategies with desirable features.

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ID Code: 82500
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: environment, air pollution, physical activity, commute, public health, survey research
DOI: 10.1123/jpah.2013-0122
ISSN: 1543-3080
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES (040100) > Atmospheric Aerosols (040101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Monitoring (050206)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Engineering not elsewhere classified (090799)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Deposited On: 15 Mar 2015 23:56
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2015 15:45

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