Day-to-day intrapersonal variability in mobility patterns and association with perceived stress: a cross-sectional study using GPS from 122 individuals in three European cities

Olsen, J. R. et al. (2022) Day-to-day intrapersonal variability in mobility patterns and association with perceived stress: a cross-sectional study using GPS from 122 individuals in three European cities. SSM - Population Health, 19, 101172. (doi: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2022.101172) (PMID:35865800) (PMCID:PMC9294330)

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Many aspects of our life are related to our mobility patterns and individuals can exhibit strong tendencies towards routine in their daily lives. Intrapersonal day-to-day variability in mobility patterns has been associated with mental health outcomes. The study aims were: (a) calculate intrapersonal day-to-day variability in mobility metrics for three cities; (b) explore interpersonal variability in mobility metrics by sex, season and city, and (c) describe intrapersonal variability in mobility and their association with perceived stress. Data came from the Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) project, 122 eligible adults wore location measurement devices over 7-consecutive days, on three occasions during 2015 (Antwerp: 41, Barcelona: 41, London: 40). Participants completed the Short Form Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-4). Day-to-day variability in mobility was explored via six mobility metrics using distance of GPS point from home (meters:m), distance travelled between consecutive GPS points (m) and energy expenditure (metabolic equivalents:METs) of each GPS point collected (n = 3,372,919). A Kruskal-Wallis H test determined whether the median daily mobility metrics differed by city, sex and season. Variance in correlation quantified day-to-day intrapersonal variability in mobility. Levene's tests or Kruskal-Wallis tests were applied to assess intrapersonal variability in mobility and perceived stress. There were differences in daily distance travelled, maximum distance from home and METS between individuals by sex, season and, for proportion of time at home also, by city. Intrapersonal variability across all mobility metrics were highly correlated; individuals had daily routines and largely stuck to them. We did not observe any association between stress and mobility. Individuals are habitual in their daily mobility patterns. This is useful for estimating environmental exposures and in fuelling simulation studies.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:JO, RM, NN and FC are employed by the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, and supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number MC_UU_00022/4] and Chief Scientist Office [grant number SPHSU19]. FC is supported by an MRC Skills Development Fellowship [MR/T027789/1]. The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest. ED was supported by a postdoctoral scholarship from FWO – Research Foundation Flanders. ML held a joint PASTA/VITO PhD scholarship. This work was supported by the European project Physical Activity through Sustainable Transportation Approaches (PASTA). PASTA ( was a four-year project funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (EU FP7) under European Commission - Grant Agreement No. 602624.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Olsen, Dr Jonathan and Mitchell, Professor Rich and Lee, Professor Duncan and Caryl, Dr Fiona and Nicholls, Dr Natalie
Authors: Olsen, J. R., Nicholls, N., Caryl, F., Orjuela Mendoza, J., Panis, L. I., Dons, E., Laeremans, M., Standaert, A., Lee, D., Avila-Palencia, I., de Nazelle, A., Nieuwenhuijsen, M., and Mitchell, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Statistics
Journal Name:SSM - Population Health
ISSN (Online):2352-8273
Published Online:16 July 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in SSM - Population Health 19: 101172
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
3048230041Places and healthRich MitchellMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/4HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
3048230091Places and healthRich MitchellOffice of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)SPHSU19HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
308037Do gender-differences in access to urban landscapes lead to gender-inequalities in mental and physical health?Fiona CarylMedical Research Council (MRC)MR/T027789/1SHW - MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit