Assessing Modes and Frequency of Commuting to School in Youngsters: A Systematic Review

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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The first objective was to review and analyze self-reported measures used for assessing mode and frequency of commuting to and from school in youngsters (4–18.5 years old). The secondary objective was to conduct a qualitative appraisal of the identified studies. We searched five online databases: PubMed, SportDiscus, ProQuest, National Transportation Library, and Web of Knowledge. Four categories of search terms were identified: self-report, active transportation, school-aged children and school. Titles and abstracts were reviewed to determine whether the studies met the inclusion criteria. The quality of the reporting of the measures was assessed using a tailored list. The electronic search strategy produced 5,898 studies. After applying the inclusion criteria, we identified 158 studies. Sixty-three studies (39.8%) specified the question about modes of commuting to school. One hundred seven studies (67.7%) directly questioned the study subjects (i.e., children and/or adolescents). Twenty studies (12.7%) posed a valid and reliable question. The quality assessment of the self-report measures was medium. The self-report measures used in the literature for assessing commuting to school tend to be heterogeneous and make difficult interstudies comparisons. Therefore we put forward the idea of a standard question designed to elicit reliable, comparable information on commuting to school.

The authors are with the PROFITH (Promoting Fitness and Health Through Physical Activity) Research Group, Dept. of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain. Address author correspondence to Manuel Herrador-Colmenero at mhc@ugr.es.