"Social influences are important, specifically interpersonal influences, such as spouses and co-workers," Melissa Bopp, assistant professor of kinesiology, Penn State, said.
She emphasized that community and employers also significantly influence whether people choose to actively commute.
More than 80 percent of American adults do not meet the guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, according to Healthy People 2020, a federal initiative that sets national objectives and monitors progress concerning the health of the population.
Regardless of a chronic disease or disability, any regular physical activity can improve health and quality of life.
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week for adults.
Active commuting (AC) -- physical exercise, such as bicycling or walking, as a way to travel to and from work-is one way to help adults integrate the recommended activity into their daily routine.
The findings are published online in the American Journal of Health Behavior.