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Research Report 359 Valuing the health benefits of active modes

Published: | Category: Transport demand management , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This report seeks to provide a per-kilometre value for the health benefits of active transport modes (such as walking and cycling) that is compatible with the Land Transport New Zealand Economic Evaluation Manual Volume 2 (EEM2). The first two sections of the report begin by explaining the scope of the project and the background. Section 3 investigates the evidence of the connection between physical activity and health outcomes. Section 4 clarifies the role of active transport modes as physical activity, and reports the New Zealand-specific data about active transport mode engagement. Section 5 gives a brief comparative summary of the literature review of cost-benefit analyses and valuation techniques used overseas to value the health benefits of active modes. This report uses population attributable fractions (PAF) to estimate the annual burden of mortality and morbidity costs per inactive adult. Annual estimates of the costs of inactivity are applied to the New Zealand adult population using a weighted sum to establish a per-kilometre value for each mode. The valuation presented in this report is limited by a poverty of data, but the final values are considered to be a reasonable estimate of the health benefits of active modes. While further research is recommended to obtain more precise estimates of the costs of inactivity in New Zealand, it is considered that the values presented in this report are a sound interim estimate for inclusion in the EEM2.

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: December 2008
  • Reference: 359
  • ISBN/ISSN: ISBN 978-0-478-33454-8 (paperback) ISBN 978-0-478-33455-5 (PDF) ISSN 1173-3756 (paperback) ISSN 1173-3764 (PDF)