PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (12): 2043-2053.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2020.12.007

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Study on the influence of commuting behavior characteristics of urban residents on health in Nanjing City based on structural equation model

CAO Chen1,2(), ZHEN Feng2,3,*(), WANG Xia1, JIANG Yupei2,3   

  1. 1. School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
    2. Provincial Engineering Laboratory of Smart City Design Simulation & Visualization, Jiangsu, Nanjing 210093, China
    3. School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
  • Received:2019-12-31 Revised:2020-05-29 Online:2020-12-28 Published:2021-02-28
  • Contact: ZHEN Feng;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41571146);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41871134)


Commuting is an issue that urban residents must face in their day-to-day work. The health problems caused by long-distance, long-time, and motorized commuting have aroused widespread concern of scholars in China and internationally. Based on the survey data of physical activity and health status of residents in eight typical communities in Nanjing City from 2017 to 2018, a structural equation model was constructed to analyze the relationship between commuting distance, commuting time, and commuting mode and their impacts on mental health, physical health, and health behavior. The research findings show that: 1) Commuting distance has a significantly positive direct effect on commuting mode and commuting time, while commuting distance has a significantly positive indirect effect on commuting time. 2) In terms of the impact on mental health, commuting distance, commuting time, and commuting mode have a significantly negative direct effect on the neighborhood relationship. At the same time, there is also a significantly negative indirect effect of commuting distance and commuting mode on the neighborhood relationship. In terms of the impact on physical health, commuting distance reduces the probability of overweight or obesity among urban residents, but increases the probability of workers choosing a motorized commuting mode, which indirectly increases the risk of chronic diseases for the commuters. In terms of the impact on health behavior, commuting distance and commuting time are significantly negative correlated with sleeping time. Commuting mode has a negative indirect impact on sleeping time. Motor vehicle commuting mode is also significantly negative correlated with housework and significantly positive correlated with walking behavior. 3) The impacts of commuting behavior characteristics on health vary depending on the socioeconomic attributes of the commuters. The commuting behavior characteristics of female, older, and lower-income workers have a more significant impact on health. Based on the results of this study, we recommend to optimize the working and living space in the city, reduce commuting time, reduce car dependence, promote active commuting to increase the physical activity of commuters, and create more favorable conditions for the commuting of special groups, thereby improve their health.

Key words: health, commuting behavior characteristics, urban residents, structural equation model (SEM), Nanjing City