Geographic distribution of physically active and sedentary travel in an Asian megalopolis: Evidence from Greater Tokyo

Takumi Abe*, Neville Owen, Akio Kubota, Manoj Chandrabose, Nobuaki Ohmori, Koichiro Oka, Takemi Sugiyama

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the prevalence and density-related geographic variations of active and sedentary travel in greater Tokyo using data from the fifth Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area Household Travel Survey (n = 412,253, aged 20–64 years). Participants were categorised as those engaging in active travel (≥30 min/d in active modes and 0 min/d of car use) or not and those engaging in sedentary travel (0 min/d in active modes and ≥ 60 min/d in cars) or not. Municipalities in the study areas were classified into inner metropolitan, higher-density outer metropolitan, lower-density outer metropolitan, and peri-urban areas, which differed greatly in population density. The prevalence of active travel ranged from 50 % in inner-metropolitan to 21 % in peri-urban areas, while that of sedentary travel ranged from 4 % to 21 %. These four regions differed significantly in the adjusted mean prevalence of active and sedentary travel. In high-density inner metropolitan areas of Tokyo, half of working-age adults are likely to meet physical activity guidelines through active travel without any car use. Future research comparing cities internationally is warranted to further understand the role of population density in travel mode choice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103964
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec


  • Cycling
  • Household travel survey
  • Population density
  • Walking
  • car use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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