Increasing cycling and walking: an analysis of readiness to change

In 2003, Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) and the Cancer Society of New Zealand commissioned a major nationwide survey to segment adult New Zealanders in terms of physical activity and healthy eating habits. The questionnaire included several transport-related questions. The resulting ‘Obstacles to Action’ database (with responses from over 8000 people aged 16 or over) thus provides opportunities to analyse transport responses with a larger sample size than is usual with New Zealand surveys. This report analyses the Obstacles to Action database with respect to cycling and walking.

A focus is the stage of change questions which can be useful for developing and monitoring active transport promotional strategies, given that behaviour change may often involve a number of process steps being undertaken before individuals are ready to change behaviour.

Current cycling and walking, together with stage of change for cycling and walking, were first analysed for demographic differences (age, gender, ethnicity, level of urbanisation, region, effect of children, work status, household income). Differences between stages of change with respect to motivations, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers (physical activity in general) were also briefly considered, as well as readiness to replace car trips with walking and cycling, relevant environmental perceptions, and perceived environmental barriers.


Research Report No. 294 (pdf)