When people have access to showers and changing rooms, are they more likely to ride a bicycle or walk to work? A research team headed by Biswas analyzed data collected from over 53,000 people who answered questions on the 2007 – 2008 Canadian Community Health Survey, and determined that “Compared with younger ages, workers 50 to 75 years old were more likely to cycle to work if WS/CR [showers and changing rooms] were available.” So, older individuals were more likely to ride their bicycles to work when WS/CR were available but people 49 years old or younger were not more likely to ride a bike to work if WS/CR were available. The likelihood of workers of any age walking to work was not significantly affected by the presence of WS/CR. Statistical techniques were used to eliminate living in an urban or rural area as an explanation for the effects seen. Depending on worker/space user demographic profiles and organizational goals, devoting space to WS/CR may or may not be a good use of resources.
Aviroop Biswas, Peter Smith, and Monique Gignac. “Access to Showers and Change Rooms at Work Associated With Active Commuting Among Older Workers: Findings from a National Population Survey.” Journal of Applied Gerontology, in press.