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Journal Article


Kalliolahti E, Aalto V, Salo P, Lanki T, Ervasti J, Oksanen T. Scand. J. Public Health 2023; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2023, Associations of Public Health in the Nordic Countries Regions, Publisher SAGE Publishing)






AIM: To determine the extent to which level of active commute mode use is associated with self-rated health and work ability.

METHODS: The data were sourced from the Finnish Public Sector Study survey in 2020 (n = 38,223). The associations between active commuting - assessed with the frequency of using active commute modes - and self-rated health and work ability were examined with negative binomial regression analyses. Passive commuting and low-to-moderate levels of active commuting were compared with active commuting, and the models were adjusted for sociodemographic factors, working time mode, and lifestyle risk factors. We also assessed separate associations between walking and cycling as a mode of commuting by additionally considering the commuting distance and the outcomes.

RESULTS: After adjustment, when using active commuters as a reference, passive commuters had a 1.23-fold (95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.19 to 1.29) risk of suboptimal self-rated health and a 1.18-fold (95% CI 1.13 to 1.22) risk of suboptimal work ability. More frequent and/or longer distance by foot and especially by bicycle, was positively associated with health and work ability. Never commuting by bicycle was associated with a 1.65-fold (95% CI 1.55 to 1.74) risk of suboptimal health and a 1.27-fold (95% CI 1.21 to 1.34) risk of suboptimal work ability when using high-dose bicycle commuting as a reference.

CONCLUSIONS: Passive commuting was associated with suboptimal self-rated health and suboptimal work ability. Our results suggest that using active commute modes, particularly cycling, may be beneficial for employee health and work ability.

Language: en


self-rated health; occupational health; Active commuting; commute mode; work ability


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