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

Jennifer E. van Bekkum (Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)
Joanne M. Williams (Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)
Paul Graham Morris (School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 18 October 2011

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.

Keywords

Citation

van Bekkum, J.E., Williams, J.M. and Graham Morris, P. (2011), "Cycle commuting and perceptions of barriers: stages of change, gender and occupation", Health Education, Vol. 111 No. 6, pp. 476-497. https://doi.org/10.1108/09654281111180472

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited