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The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the associations between active commuting behavior, levels of physical activity and distance to school in 9–10 year old children. Participants were children (n = 1824) who took part in the SPEEDY study (Sport, Physical activity and Eating behavior: Environmental Determinants in Young people). For both boys and girls, significant positive associations were observed between walking to school and physical activity and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during weekday journey times (8–9am and 3–4pm), and the size of association also became stronger with increasing distance from school. Promotion of active commuting to school might be an important way to increase levels of physical activity in school children.
Panter and Jones are with the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. Van Sluijs, and Griffin are with the MRC Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Metabolic Science, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK.