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trips4health: Protocol of a single-blinded randomised controlled trial incentivising adults to use public transport for physical activity gain


Sharman, MJ and Ball, K and Greaves, S and Jose, KA and Morse, M and Blizzard, CL and Wells, G and Venn, AJ and Palmer, AJ and Lester, D and Williams, J and Harpus, S and Cleland, VJ, trips4health: Protocol of a single-blinded randomised controlled trial incentivising adults to use public transport for physical activity gain, Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 19 Article 100619. ISSN 2451-8654 (2020) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.conctc.2020.100619




Public transport (PT) users typically accumulate more physical activity (PA) than private motor vehicle users yet redressing physical inactivity through transport-related PA (TRPA) interventions has received limited attention. Further, incentive-based strategies can increase leisure-time PA but their impact on TRPA, is unclear. This study's objective is to determine the impact of an incentive-based strategy on TRPA in a regional Australian setting.


trips4health is a single-blinded randomised controlled trial with a four-month intervention phase and subsequent six-month maintenance phase. Participants will be randomised to: an incentives-based intervention (bus trip credit for reaching bus trip targets, weekly text messages to support greater bus use, written PA guidelines); or an active control (written PA guidelines only). Three hundred and fifty adults (≥18 years) from southern Tasmania will be recruited through convenience methods, provide informed consent and baseline information, then be randomised. The primary outcome is change in accelerometer measured average daily step count at baseline and four- and ten-months later. Secondary outcomes are changes in: measured and self-reported travel behaviour (e.g. PT use), PA, sedentary behaviour; self-reported and measured (blood pressure, waist circumference, height, weight) health; travel behaviour perspectives (e.g. enablers/barriers); quality of life; and transport-related costs. Linear mixed model regression will determine group differences. Participant and PT provider level process evaluations will be conducted and intervention costs to the provider determined.


trips4health will determine the effectiveness of an incentive-based strategy to increase TRPA by targeting PT use. The findings will enable evidence-informed decisions about the worthwhileness of such strategies.

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Item Details

Item Type:Contribution to Refereed Journal
Keywords:physical activity, behaviour change, behavioural epidemiology, randomised controlled trial (RCT), environmental influences
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Sharman, MJ (Dr Matt Sharman)
UTAS Author:Jose, KA (Dr Kim Jose)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, CL (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Wells, G (Ms Gudrun Wells)
UTAS Author:Venn, AJ (Professor Alison Venn)
UTAS Author:Palmer, AJ (Professor Andrew Palmer)
UTAS Author:Harpus, S (Ms Siobhan Harpur)
UTAS Author:Cleland, VJ (Associate Professor Verity Cleland)
ID Code:141516
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1152999)
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2020-10-27
Last Modified:2021-02-09

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