Physical Activity Communities > Active Transport

Sedentary living contributes potently to a variety of non-communicable diseases. Levels of inactivity are now alarming high in many countries and regions of the world, supporting the view that we now face an “inactivity epidemic”. Increasing physical activity levels holds promise not only for reducing these health risks in communities, but also enhancing physical functioning and health-related quality of life for the individual.

Social and industrial progress and widely held perceptions of personal prosperity have become increasingly associated with preference for travel by motorized. Motorized vehicles are powered by expensive fuels that contribute to air and noise pollution which exacerbate health problems and degrade our environment. Walking, bicycling, and use of other forms of human powered transport offer an effective and inexpensive way to promote daily healthful physical activity. At the same time, increasing active transport in communities can contribute to development of sustainable environments.

Active transport is a fundamental aspect of public health. Further research is needed to determine how best to achieve this objective, considering implications for both the positive and negative outcomes, e.g. behavioral changes, health benefits, road safety, noise and air pollution (Sallis J, et al. 2004; Badland H & Schofield G, 2005). Best outcomes should be achieved by careful planning and policy implementation that is guided by the health, safety, transport, and environmental interests in each community. This resource area points readers to policies, strategies, reports and innovative campaigns promoting active transport in communities.