The Effect of a School-Based Active Commuting Intervention On Children's Commuting Physical Activity and Daily Physical Activity

This study investigates the effect of a school-based intervention called Travelling Green (TG) on children's walking to and from school and total daily physical activity.

  • A quasi-experiment with 166 Scottish children (8–9 years) was conducted in 2009. One group (n = 79) received TG and another group (n = 87) acted as a comparison. The intervention lasted 6 weeks and consisted of educational lessons and goal-setting tasks. Steps and MVPA (daily, a.m. commute, p.m. commute, and total commute) were measured for 5 days pre- and post-intervention using accelerometers.
  • Mean steps (daily, a.m., p.m., and total commute) decreased from pre- to post-intervention in both groups (TG by 901, 49, 222, and 271 steps/day and comparison by 2528, 205, 120, and 325 steps/day, respectively). No significant group by time interactions were found for a.m., p.m., and total commuting steps. A medium (partial eta squared = 0.09) and significant (p < 0.05) group by time interaction was found for total daily steps. MVPA results were similar to step results.
  • TG has a little effect on walking to and from school. However, for total daily steps and daily MVPA, TG results in a smaller seasonal decrease than for children who do not receive the intervention.
  • The effect of a walk to school intervention was investigated among 8–9 year olds.
  • Educational lessons and goal setting tasks did not increase walking to school.
  • Walk to school interventions should be targeted to the parents of younger children.
  • Older children may have greater autonomy to change their school travel behaviors.

McMinn, D., D. A. Rowe, et al. "The effect of a school-based active commuting intervention on children's commuting physical activity and daily physical activity." Preventive Medicine.

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