Physical Activity Levels of Children Who Walk, Cycle, or Are Driven to School

Commuting to school by walking or bicycling is widely promoted to increase children's physical activity, however, there is little research evidence to describe the impact that travel mode may have on activity levels. This article reports on a study in which primary school children (n = 332) wore an accelerometer recording minute-by-minute physical activity and completed questions describing travel habits. Results showed that children who walked to school were significantly more physically active than those who traveled by car. Those who cycled to school recorded higher accelerometer counts than those who traveled by car, but differences were not significant. Boys who walked or cycled to school were significantly more physically active than those traveling by car. In girls, walking but not cycling to school was significantly associated with higher daily physical activity levels. That differences in physical activity associated with travel mode occurred both within school and during supervised free play raises the possibility that, at least in boys, physical activity early in the day may prompt increased activity throughout the day. The authors conclude that walking or bicycling to and from school can contribute to attaining public health goals for total physical activity.

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  • Authors:
    • Cooper, Ashley R
    • Andersen, Lars Bo
    • Wedderkopp, Niels
    • Page, Angie S
    • Froberg, Karsten
  • Publication Date: 2005


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01010569
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 17 2005 11:38AM