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The first European study on mobility and health in cities continues with the recruitment process

A PASTA substudy on health and air pollution has been initiated between February and March in Antwerp, Barcelona and London

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

The first European study on mobility and health in cities continues with the recruitment process

CREAL, an allied ISGlobal center, leads in Barcelona a major European online study called PASTA (Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches), whose main objective is to improve mobility and health in cities. To achieve this, the different modes of transport which employ a total of 14,000 adult citizens in seven European cities (Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Orebro –Sweden–, Rome, Vienna and Zurich) will be studied. The participation in this study is basically to answer periodically online questionnaires.

The recruitment of volunteers, which began four months ago through social networks, especially Twitter and Facebook (PASTABCN) as well as through public events such as the PRBB Open Day and PASTA workshop going apace. For now, the project has already been enrolled more than 2400 volunteers across Europe, of which around 450 are participating in Barcelona via the website of the project. Most of these volunteers are people between 30 and 40 years (36%) and 60% are women.

A substudy on health and air pollution

In Antwerp, Barcelona and London between February and March has started a PASTA substudy on health and air pollution. Here, volunteers must become what researchers call a "mobile laboratory" for a week carrying a device for measuring the fine carbon particles from the smoke from cars, a physical activity monitor, a GPS and a Smartphone which measures both physical activity and movements of the participant. These data will relate the exposure to air pollution with different effects on health, taking into account the mobility patterns and physical activity of people. Volunteers for the study were obtained from those already enrolled in the PASTA platform.

Being part of the study will help gather convincing evidence for investments and improvements in the future. The results are intended to be used by policy makers to support informed decisions about improving the opportunities for mobility. Since the involvement of volunteers is very important, every three months a lottery will hold with five prizes of 100 €. The chances of winning are proportional to the number of completed questionnaires. Moreover, Bicing has also contributed with the project with a prize of two annual renewals for 2015, the draw will take place in April.

The project, that also aims to be a proactive and awareness of the public about the need to link health and mobility, intends to participate in various events popularizing science as the next Festival of Science, the Parking Day Barcelona and performs various meetings and lectures in the Environmental Classrooms in Barcelona.

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Picture: A girl uses a bicycle to get around the city. Author: Julen Landa (Flickr).


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