Walking and cycling as a form of everyday transport – to work, the shops or to visit friends – can contribute to meeting recommended levels of physical activity for all age groups. Including it in their commute is also seen as an easy way for young children to get the exercise they need – research shows that school-children arrive at school alert and ready to learn after a 10 minute walk or bike ride, compared to an hour or more in the car.
When people say they aren’t in the mood for Active Travel there could be a deeper reason. It might be about feeling lonely or stressed, not getting enough sleep or a health issue. Talking with a friend can help, and finding a supportive network that is empathetic can be especially helpful.
Walking and Biking Safely: Tips for a Secure Active Travel Experience
The health benefits of increasing the amount of walking and cycling are measured using an incremental cost benefit analysis technique, often referred to as ‘willingness to pay’ (WTP). The WTP is a measure of the value that a person would place on reducing their risk of death or disability through increased activity. It is calculated by subtracting a person’s baseline DALYs, or life expectancy reduction, from their willingness to pay for one additional DALY of reduced risk from increasing their activity.
The HEAT tool uses a comparative risk assessment approach based on aggregated, population-level data (see Figure 1). It estimates the impacts and economic value of walking and cycling improvements in a reference case and a comparison case, assuming the improvement is implemented over a specified period of time.