Best foot forward: Exploring the barriers and enablers to active travel among 50-70 year olds
This report summarises the findings of our work on active travel and, for the first time, sets out the factors that govern active travel behaviours in people aged 50 to 70.
Active travel – making day-to-day journeys by walking or cycling – is an effective way of bringing more physical activity into our everyday lives. Increasing our physical activity levels will make us healthier and help us to lead longer and more independent lives. However, levels of physical activity and of active travel drop off rapidly with age and it’s essential that we target people in mid-life to address this decline.
We commissioned a team led by Sustrans to carry out this research project, comprising a review of the existing evidence base as well as primary qualitative research with 50 individuals in this age cohort to fill gaps identified in the evidence. This report summarises the findings of the work and sets out the factors that govern active travel behaviours in people aged 50 to 70 across the UK.
The research finds that these factors are wide-ranging and include things such as infrastructure; confidence; having suitable role models; and enjoyment of the outdoors. These disparate factors must be addressed by adopting a whole-systems approach in order to achieve real change in people's travel habits. Action is needed from national and local government, service providers and health systems to get people moving.