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The value of motivational theory to influence active transport behaviors – a Swedish example


Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)


Cycle commuting have been shown to promote major health effects, studies showing as much as 41% lower overall mortality compared to car or collective transport (Celis-Morales et al 2017). Yet, for many of us, there are significant behavioral barriers in changing our transport behavior. On the positive note, studies have shown that bikes providing electric assistance when pedaling (pedelecs) also have positive effects on cardiovascular health and helps people meet physical activity recommendations. It is possible that pedelecs could facilitate active transport by reducing some perceived behavioral barriers by enhancing autonomous motivation in line with self-determination theory (SDT).   The overall purpose was to examine underlying motives for using the pedelec above passive transport (car, bus). Semi-structured interviews (N=14) were used to study motivational aspects of participation in a community based pedelec project. Qualitative content analysis revealed that motives to choose the pedelec was health reasons (regular exercise), economic reasons (e.g. avoid having two cars), environmental reasons (to reduce environmental impact) and personal values (e.g. related to exercise identity).   These four motivational themes can be related to the tenets of SDT and the significance of autonomous motivation for behavioral regulation. The step from passive to active transport might be challenging, but facilitating use of pedelecs and appropriate communication policy might facilitate such a transition. Application of SDT and addressing the motivational themes found in this study could shed some light on motivational drives for active transport and inform community interventions and policies design to adopt sustainable transport behaviors.

Citera: Weman Josefsson, Karin & Back, Jenny, The value of motivational theory to influence active transport behaviors – a Swedish example, The IAFOR Conference series 2019 : Independence & Interdependence, Programme & Abstract Book., s. 107-107, 2019