Neighborhood Built Environment and Socioeconomic Status in Relation to Active Commuting to School in Children

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

The role of neighborhood type in active commuting to school (ACS) has not been extensively studied in children. The purpose of this study was to analyze the association between neighborhood built environment (walkability) and neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) with ACS among children.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study of 310 Spanish children (aged 10–12 y; 51% male) was conducted in 2015. Walkability was defined as an index of 3 built environment characteristics (ie, residential density, land-use mix, and street connectivity) based on geographical information system data. Children’s home and school neighborhoods were evaluated. ACS was evaluated by questionnaire. Mixed model regression analyses evaluated ACS in relation to neighborhood walkability and SES.

Results:

There were no significant SES–walkability interactions for ACS. Children living in more walkable neighborhoods reported 2.5 more trips per week compared with those living in less walkable neighborhoods (P < .001). Children attending schools located in lower SES neighborhoods reported more ACS trips per week than those attending schools in higher SES neighborhoods (P < .05).

Conclusions:

Home-neighborhood walkability and school-neighborhood SES were associated with ACS. This study highlights the importance of assessing children’s home environment and school environment when ACS behavior is analyzed.

Molina-García is with the Dept of Teaching of Musical, Visual, and Corporal Expression, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain. Queralt is with the Dept of Nursing, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain. Molina-García and Queralt are also with the AFIPS Research Group, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain.

Molina-García (javier.molina@uv.es) is corresponding author.
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