Relationship Between Active School Transport and Body Mass Index in Grades-4-to-6 Children

in Pediatric Exercise Science

Click name to view affiliation

Richard LaroucheChildren’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

Search for other papers by Richard Larouche in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Meghann LloydChildren’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

Search for other papers by Meghann Lloyd in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Emily KnightChildren’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

Search for other papers by Emily Knight in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Mark S. TremblayChildren’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

Search for other papers by Mark S. Tremblay in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

The current investigation assessed the impact of active school transportation (AST) on average daily step counts, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference in 315 children in Grades 4–6 who participated to Cycle 2 of the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL) pilot testing. T-tests revealed a significant association between AST and lower BMI values (18.7 ± 3.3 vs. 19.9 ± 3.8 kg/m2). The active commuters accumulated an average of 662 more steps per day, and their waist circumference was lower by an average of 3.1 cm, but these differences were not statistically significant. ANCOVA analyses controlling for age and step counts, found trends toward lower BMI and waist circumference values among the active commuters. These results suggest that AST may be a valid strategy to prevent childhood obesity; further research is needed to determine more precisely the impact of AST on body composition, and the direction of the relationship.

Larouche, Lloyd, Knight, and Tremblay are with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

  • Collapse
  • Expand