Using wearable technology to analyse daily travel behaviour

The benefits of daily physical activity are well-documented in the health literature. Daily commuting – particularly cycling, walking and using public transport – can contribute to the 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous weekly physical activity recommended by the Australian Department of Health. Associated benefits include improved life satisfaction, reduced traffic congestion and lower CO2 emissions. In 2019, the PATREC team in conjunction with Heathway, carried out an exploratory study into the contribution daily travel can make to daily physical activity. There are significant differences between time use diary and travel recordings of the smartwatch and camera, which demonstrate their value for providing accurate travel behaviour data. Travel-related physical activity received a higher level of enjoyment. Two main categories of travellers were identified: physical activity enthusiasts and constrained travellers.

PATREC Perspectives, May 2020.

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