The contribution of active travel to children's physical activity levels: Cross-sectional results from the ALSPAC study

Esther M F van Sluijs, Victoria A Fearne, Calum Mattocks, Chris Riddoch, Simon J Griffin, Andy Ness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between active travel to school and physical activity (PA) in a large population-based sample of 11-year old children. METHOD: Cross-sectional analyses using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (Bristol, UK), collected in 2002-2004. The analyses include all children providing valid data on objectively measured PA (Actigraph accelerometer), and having parent-proxy reported data on travel mode (walk, cycle, public transport, car) and distance to school (N=4688). RESULTS: 43.5% of children regularly walked or cycled to school (i.e. on every or most days). Compared with car travelers, walking to school was associated with 5.98 (95%CI: 3.82-8.14) more minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) on weekdays in those living 0.5-1 miles from school, and with 9.77 (95%CI: 7.47-12.06) more minutes in those living at 1-5 miles. This equates to 24.6 to 40.2% of the average daily minutes of MVPA. Only modest differences were observed in those living 0.5 mile. Increasing participation in active travel might be a useful part of an overall strategy to increase population PA.
Translated title of the contributionThe contribution of active travel to children's physical activity levels: Cross-sectional results from the ALSPAC study
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519 - 524
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Elsevier Inc

Keywords

  • ALSPAC
  • school travel
  • Children
  • Walking

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