Prevalence and Correlates of Active Transportation to School Among Colombian Children and Adolescents

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: In Colombia, active transportation has been assessed in multiple local and regional studies, but national data on active transportation are scarce. This study aims to describe the prevalence and factors associated with active transportation to/from school among Colombian children and adolescents. Methods: The authors analyzed nationally representative data from the National Survey of Nutrition 2015, with a sample of 11,466 children and adolescents aged between 3 and 17 years. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and prevalence ratios were estimated using Poisson regression multivariable models with robust variance. Results: Approximately 70% of Colombian children and adolescents reported engaging in active transportation to/from school over the last week. There were no differences by sex among preschoolers nor school-aged children. Fewer adolescent females than males used active transportation. Preschoolers and school-aged children living in Bogota were more likely to report active transport than children from other regions (prevalence ratios for other regions ranged from 0.59 to 0.86). School-aged children and adolescents with a lower wealth index were more likely to use active transportation than their counterparts (prevalence ratios = 1.32 and 1.22, respectively). Conclusions: The wealthiest children and adolescents, adolescents from rural areas, and female adolescents should be a focus for future interventions. Actions need to be implemented to improve the involvement in active transportation to/from school in Colombia.

González, Chaput, and Tremblay are with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada. González is also with the School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Sarmiento is with the School of Medicine, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia. Larouche is with the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, Canada. Katzmarzyk is with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.

González (sa.gonzalez@uniandes.edu.co) is corresponding author.
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