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Gender differences in active travel in major cities across the world.

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Oyebode, Oyinlola 
Foley, Louise 
Tatah, Lambed 
Millett, Christopher 


There is lack of literature on international comparison of gender differences in the use of active travel modes. We used population-representative travel surveys for 19 major cities across 13 countries and 6 continents, representing a mix of cites from low-and-middle income (n = 8) and high-income countries (n = 11). In all the cities, females are more likely than males to walk and, in most cities, more likely to use public transport. This relationship reverses in cycling, with females often less likely users than males. In high cycling cities, both genders are equally likely to cycle. Active travel to access public transport contributes 30-50% of total active travel time. The gender differences in active travel metrics are age dependent. Among children (< 16 years), these metrics are often equal for girls and boys, while gender disparity increases with age. On average, active travel enables one in every four people in the population to achieve at least 30 min of physical activity in a day, though there is large variation across the cities. In general, females are more likely to achieve this level than males. The results highlight the importance of a gendered approach towards active transport policies. Such an approach necessitates reducing road traffic danger and male violence, as well as overcoming social norms that restrict women from cycling.



Active travel, Age, Cycling, Gender, Physical activity, Public transportation, Walking

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Transportation (Amst)

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) ERC (817754)
MRC (MC_UU_00006/7)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12015/6)
Medical Research Council (MR/K023187/1)
Department of Health (via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) (16/137/34)
This project (JW, RG, LT) has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the Horizon views and the Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. OO is affiliated to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West Midlands. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. This paper presented independent research and the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health. LF was funded by the Global Diet and Activity Research Group. This group was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (16/137/64) using UK aid from the UK Government to support global health research.