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Title: Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA): protocol for a multi-centre, longitudinal study
Authors: Dons, Evi 
Götschi, Thomas
Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark
de Nazelle, Audrey
Anaya, Esther
Avila-Palencia, Ione
Brand, Christian
Cole-Hunter, Tom
Gaupp-Berghausen, Mailin
Kahlmeier, Sonja
Laeremans, Michelle 
Mueller, Natalie
Orjuela, Juan Pablo
Raser, Elisabeth
Rojas-Rueda, David
Standaert, Arnout
Stigell, Erik
Uhlmann, Tina
Gerike, Regine
Int Panis, Luc 
Issue Date: 2015
Source: BMC PUBLIC HEALTH, 15 (1126)
Abstract: Background Physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for non-communicable diseases, yet many are not sufficiently active. The Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) study aims to better understand active mobility (walking and cycling for transport solely or in combination with public transport) as an innovative approach to integrate physical activity into individuals’ everyday lives. The PASTA study will collect data of multiple cities in a longitudinal cohort design to study correlates of active mobility, its effect on overall physical activity, crash risk and exposure to traffic-related air pollution. Methods/Design A set of online questionnaires incorporating gold standard approaches from the physical activity and transport fields have been developed, piloted and are now being deployed in a longitudinal study in seven European cities (Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Oerebro, Rome, Vienna, Zurich). In total, 14000 adults are being recruited (2000 in each city). A first questionnaire collects baseline information; follow-up questionnaires sent every 13 days collect prospective data on travel behaviour, levels of physical activity and traffic safety incidents. Self-reported data will be validated with objective data in subsamples using conventional and novel methods. Accelerometers, GPS and tracking apps record routes and activity. Air pollution and physical activity are measured to study their combined effects on health biomarkers. Exposure-adjusted crash risks will be calculated for active modes, and crash location audits are performed to study the role of the built environment. Ethics committees in all seven cities have given independent approval for the study. Discussion The PASTA study collects a wealth of subjective and objective data on active mobility and physical activity. This will allow the investigation of numerous correlates of active mobility and physical activity using a data set that advances previous efforts in its richness, geographical coverage and comprehensiveness. Results will inform new health impact assessment models and support efforts to promote and facilitate active mobility in cities.
Notes: Panis, LI (reprint author), Flemish Inst Technol Res VITO, Boeretang 200, B-2400 Mol, Belgium.
Keywords: physical activity; walking; cycling; travel behaviour; air pollution; traffic safety; study protocol; longitudinal
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e-ISSN: 1471-2458
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-015-2453-3
ISI #: 000365303600003
Rights: © 2015 Dons et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validations: ecoom 2016
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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