International Workshop on Integrating Physical Activity and Health Aspects in Everyday Mobility


First of all we would like to thank all participants and the organizers for their contributions. We had very interesting talks and views on how to integrate more physical activity into everyday mobility. Two scenarios: "Mobility and physical activity in rural and urban areas" were used to discuss the main goal of this workshop. It has become clear that in many countries a lack of physical activity is a major problem. This can be observed across all age groups, but must be solved differently for each. In addition, the cultural imprint of the users is of great importance. Therefore, there can be no single solution suitable for everyone. Examples were discussed for various countries that could be taken into account in future research. In the following some examples are described:

India: Interactive Cycle Rickshaw

In India, a large volume of traffic can be expected within the large cities. Due to the crowded streets and pedestrian paths, it is challenging to integrate more physical activity into everyday life. One of the most common means of transportation is the rickshaw, where only the driver moves actively. Therefore, the idea of the active cycle rickshaw was created where the passengers themselves have also a drive. The additional power can be used by the driver and at the same time power up a display which, for example, shows information about the journey or can be used for other purposes.

Japan: Worried Assistance Robot

In Japan, many old people live alone in the countryside, while younger generations often work in the cities and have less time for the family. In the future, assistance robots could help the elderly with their housework, which can lead to people not being sufficiently physically active. Especially in combination with the delivery of goods directly to the home, it can lead to a situation where these people do not leave their homes anymore. At the same time, the assitance robots are likely to be a family member for the elderly. By monitoring the daily physical activity of the user, the robots could tell the person that they are worried about the state of health or even do not do all the housework to keep the person active.

Germany: Active E-Bike

In germany e-bikes are becoming increasingly popular. Due to their additional electric power, longer distances, such as the way to work, can be covered without much effort. The disadvantage, however, is that the additional power requires less physical activity. A solution would therefore be to regulate the electric power according to the estimated daily physical activity. This approach can also be associated with future calendar entries, depending on how much time is left until the destination. In the future, it will be necessary to investigate whether and how exactly activities can be forecasted over a day to adjust the electrical support.

USA: Active Cities

In the USA, distances often have to be covered by car because there are barely pedestrian paths. There are already pilot projects in which active cities are developing, which will have to be expanded further in the future. One problem at the moment is the resulting cost, which must be borne by the citizens. Therefore, this is currently still a political problem to build the infrastructure. In the future, such cities could be used to show whether the increasing prevalence of obesity can be counteracted. During the workshop, the idea of active navigation was presented by Maximilian Schrapel, which adjusts route planning to the daily activity level and takes different means of transportation into account. Also here it will be necessary to forecast the daily activities which has to be investigated in the future.

Final Conclusion

The goal of the workshop was to identify the main requirements of environmental, human, and technical factors for integrating health recommendations into everyday mobility. It has become clear that cultural imprinting and different age groups lead to different requirements. Therefore, general guidelines for navigation systems and future forms of mobility cannot be defined, but have to be established individually for each country. In the future, health data collected by wearables will have to adapt even more individually to the user based on artificial intelligence. These data, together with information on the means of transport used, should be made freely available anonymously for research purposes. From this, the guideline can be deduced that it must be firmly defined how these data are to be stored.