Background Local authorities need a health and well-being monitoring system, that gives information on current safety behaviour and environmental safety and changes in them.
Methods The study is based on a nationally and regionally representative cross-sectional questionnaire (postal or web) survey entitled “The Regional Health and Well-being Study” (ATH) carried out in 2013−2015 in Finland. Respondents aged 20 years or more (n = 89 779) were included. The indicators used were: 1) use of helmet always when cycling, and 2) slippery footpaths in winter near of respondents’ home bother the respondents. Prevalence estimates with 95% confidence intervals were calculated. The results were presented by different population groups.
Results There were considerable differences in safety behaviour between educational groups, and they were most often unfavourable for the less-educated groups. These differences could generally be observed also at regional level. Use of helmet when cycling was most common in the highest educational group among both men and women. In the region of Uusimaa about 35% of cyclists reported always wearing a helmet when cycling whereas in Western Finland the corresponding prevalence was about 15%. Slippery footpaths in winter were most common in the region of Uusimaa where over half of respondents reported that slippery footbaths bothered them, compared to 40% in Central and South-Eastern Finland.
Conclusions There were regional differences in both safety behaviour and environmental safety. In safety behaviour there were also sociodemographic differences. The ATH -study provides local authorities with the necessary tools to monitor their residents’ health and well-being together with the factors affecting them. It is also an important tool for the monitoring of safety behaviour and environmental safety and their long- and short-term changes in the adult population. The results are reported in an interactive online service (in Finnish): www.thl.fi/ath.
- environmental safety
- safety behaviour
- cycling safety
- regional survey
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