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Understanding the Determinants of Walking as the Basis for Social Marketing Public Health Messaging


ISBN: 978-1-78714-628-0, eISBN: 978-1-78714-627-3

Publication date: 16 June 2017


The chapter was prompted by the trend towards providing public health messaging through social marketing. The purpose is to understand the determinants of walking within a city in terms of framing policy to promote greater physical activity (PA). This is demonstrated through the context of Sydney, New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The chapter provides a literature review and showcases a case-study. Descriptive statistics are presented on how far Sydneysiders walk using Household Travel Survey data and how this might be changed if short motorised trips are converted to walking. Modelling walking time follows to see if there are policy levers that could be used to increase walking time. Over 78% of Sydney’s population do not meet the recommended PA target of 30 minutes per day. Converting short motorised to walking provides marginal improvement. Walking to access activities contributes more to total walking time than walking to/from public transport. Modelling suggests potential policy levers to increase PA. Targeting driving licence holders, households without cars and promoting walkable environments are found most effective. Promoting undertaking more activities on foot is likely to be more successful than promoting walking for short trips. The chapter provides an overview of PA around the world and an empirical case study of walking in Sydney, NSW, Australia. In turn this provides an evidence base for more successful targeting of social marketing messaging for public health.



Mulley, C. and Ho, C. (2017), "Understanding the Determinants of Walking as the Basis for Social Marketing Public Health Messaging", Walking (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 9), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 41-59.



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