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Health care essay: How active travel can make you healthy?


Task: Choose an article related to the impact of physical activity on health and write a detailed health care essay addressing the findings of the chosen article.


Nowadays, the effect of chronic diseases is increasing day by day, due to the reduction of exercise practices and an increase in unhealthy activities. In this kind of scenario, active transport has become very much necessary to keep healthy. Active transport promotes cycling and even walking at an adequate rate daily, which is treated as a part of the exercise, very much essential to lead a healthy long life. According to the current study it has been found that on an average 4.5 to 5.5 million of people across the whole world, have been seen to die annually due to insufficient exercise, and not only that, in England, it has been spotted that about 39% of people do not see to meet the proper exercise guidelines(Laverty et al., 2018).

This study has been formed to discuss the importance of active travel via cycling and walking as a part of daily physical activity. It has also described how insufficient physical activities have a negative impact on people, and how people can improve their health conditions by doing active travel, to keep exercising in their busy schedule as well.

Aims of the study
This study aims to understand how to keep people's heart-healthy, by killing extra fat, by doing active travel and reducing the usage of public transports. However, the main objectives of this study are to spread social awareness, regarding the uses of active transport at an adequate rate as a part of the exercise daily, to prevent obesity and some other fat or heart-related diseases, which have been seen to be increased rapidly, due to insufficient physical activities and other unhealthy practices.

Sample and recruitment required for the study
The National Transport Survey or NTS has collected the data regarding active transport done by people daily, and with the annual basis data collected by them; the Government of UK makes some policies to promote this active transport by spreading social awareness regarding its importance in fighting against mainly, obesity and to keep the heart-healthy. This study has taken the help of their survey report from the year of 2010-2014 to analyse the current topic accurately(Patterson et al., 2019). As their sample of the survey has taken the involvement of a small number of people, this study has taken all the data at a single place to identify their daily active transport rate. The participants of their survey described description of their individual's short walking journey(less than 1 mile), and hence this study is restricted within that. Among the 61,612 participants of the survey, 48,662 members recorded their journey details daily, where it is found that 7458 of them addressed public vehicles as their only mode of transport due to long distance. To analyse and focus on only the active travellers, the number of people who accessed public transport only via vehicles has been excluded from the calculation, leaving 3638 number of people within the analysis.

The exact time has been calculated as an outcome of this study, during the time of which, people can travel actively either via cycle or simply by walking daily and a 30 min/day of physical activity has been spotted as a threshold(Chapman et al., 2018). This threshold reflects the physical activity-related guidelines by the World Health Organization(WHO), which says a 150 min/week physical activity is required on an average basis. NTS has classified the public transport journey into two categories such as active (that is via cycle or walking) and inactive (that is via bus, car or similar other vehicles). The duration of all the active journeys have been summed up to gets the total number of minutes/day regarding the physical activities(Laverty et al., 2020).

The total duration of daily physical activity has been calculated by a thorough comparison between active transport users (who use to travel by cycling or walking) and inactive transport users (who use bus, cars or other transport media). The calculation has been created with the help of two different models: the linear regression model and the logistic regression model. The linear regression model has been used to predict the number of minutes per day, utilizing public transport used. On the other hand, the logistic regression model has been used to predict the percentage, accumulating 30 minutes per day regarding physical activity in the mode of public transport. All the analyses have been done with the help of the complex survey design of NTS; made separation among the participants of the survey according to their mode of transportation daily (van Soest, Tight & Rogers, 2020).

As a result of the analysis, it has been found that 3638 number of participants used active transport journey. Majority of the active travellers were the young aged people, who were more likely to cycle or even walk to travel. Only 5% of the participants used a car for travelling and 26% were those, who used no vehicles for travelling. However, 47% were bus users (1732), who used that as public transport; 21%(749) of them used to travel by train; 10%(350) were light-rail users and 22%(816) used multimode as a way of their public transport.

It has been found in the analysis that an average daily activity time duration is 21mins/day, which is lower than the average required activity duration rate that is 30 mins. Thisis suggested by the World Health Organization. Based on the spotted result of the analysis, it is highly recommended to every one out of three people. The train users have the highest recommendation to work out and the bus users are the lowest, to keep their heart healthy and cut down their extra fat as well. Hence, it has been found that the mode of public transport has its impacts on the health issues of the public.

Consideration of the findings in light of the aims/hypotheses
The study aimed to analyse daily physical activity during public transportation, and after summing up all the analyses, calculating the rate of total time duration taken with the involvement of people in physical activity in minutes/day in a week rate. The two different models i.e. linear regression model and logistic regression model also helped to demonstrate the number and their respective percentages of the active travellers, who use to travel by cycle or by walking(Mytton et al., 2018). After the complete analysis, it is found that the physical activity rate during public transportation is much lower than the required rate, suggested by WHO. After observing the daily rate, it is required for the England government to come forth and look upon this matter and try to spread more awareness among the different communities, regarding the health benefits due to active travelling and the consequences of insufficient physical activities daily as well.

Measurement of the study
The usage of self-reported travel data is a weakness of this study. The participants of their survey described description of their individual's short walking journey (less than 1 mile), and hence this study is restricted within that. The participants, who did not give any data, were excluded from the calculation, which affected the whole survey. The survey could not cover a huge amount of population.

Strengths and weaknesses in both the internal and external validity of the study
As opined by Aldred and Croft, (2019), internal validity is nothing but the evidence collected during the survey, based on which a whole study is used to form, while external validity is the way to generalize the findings of a study.

Strengths of internal and external validity: The pattern of new coverage can be identified by the external validity. External validity also helps to generalize the findings, which became very much helpful in this study. On the other hand, internal validity helps to find out the causes and effects based on the analysis. It also helps to differentiate groups of people according to their way of thinking and lifestyle as well, which helps NTS to survey over a certain number of people and help this study in the analysis(Witten and Field, 2020).

Weaknesses of internal and external validity: External validity is unrepresentative as well as unrealistic in nature. The superficial responses of the internal validity are one of its greatest weaknesses, which have shown in this study as well.

Impact on the interpretation of the results of the study
The result of the study has clearly shown that the calculated time duration of a participant's physical activity is 21mins/day, while the required rate suggested by WHO is 30mins/day. Hence, people of England should take extra care of their daily physical activities for the sake of their health(Aldred, Croft & Goodman, 2019).

The study has been produced to show the concept of active travelling and its impact on the life of people of England. A complete analysis has been done by comparing the time duration taken by both the active and inactive travellers and it is found that calculated physical activity duration is much lower than the normal one and hence more exercise has been recommended to the inactive travellers.

Aldred, R., & Croft, J. (2019).Evaluating active travel and health economic impacts of small streetscape schemes: an exploratory study in London. Journal of Transport & Health, 12, 86-96.

Aldred, R., Croft, J., & Goodman, A. (2019). Impacts of an active travel intervention with a cycling focus in a suburban context: One-year findings from an evaluation of London’s in-progress mini-Hollands programme. Transportation research part A: policy and practice, 123, 147-169.

Bloyce, D., & White, C. (2018). When transport policy becomes health policy: A documentary analysis of active travel policy in England. Transport policy, 72, 13-23.

Chapman, R., Keall, M., Howden-Chapman, P., Grams, M., Witten, K., Randal, E., & Woodward, A. (2018).A cost benefit analysis of an active travel intervention with health and carbon emission reduction benefits. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(5), 962.

Curl, A., & Clark, K. (2019). Health, wellbeing and quality of life. Transport matters, 177-204.

Ferrer, H. B., Cooper, A., & Audrey, S. (2018). Associations of mode of travel to work with physical activity, and individual, interpersonal, organisational, and environmental characteristics. Journal of transport & health, 9, 45-55.

Laverty, A. A., Millett, C., Majeed, A., &Vamos, E. P. (2020). COVID-19 presents opportunities and threats to transport and health. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 113(7), 251-254.

Laverty, A. A., Webb, E., Vamos, E. P., & Millett, C. (2018).Associations of increases in public transport use with physical activity and adiposity in older adults. international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 15(1), 31.

Mytton, O. T., Ogilvie, D., Griffin, S., Brage, S., Wareham, N., &Panter, J. (2018). Associations of active commuting with body fat and visceral adipose tissue: a cross-sectional population based study in the UK. Preventive medicine, 106, 86-93.

Patterson, R., Webb, E., Millett, C., & Laverty, A. A. (2019). Physical activity accrued as part of public transport use in England. Journal of Public Health, 41(2), 222-230.

vanSoest, D., Tight, M. R., & Rogers, C. D. (2020). Exploring the distances people walk to access public transport. Transport reviews, 40(2), 160-182.

Witten, K., & Field, A. (2020).Engaging children in neighborhood planning for active travel infrastructure.In Transportation and children's well-being (pp. 199-216).Elsevier.


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