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Richard Larouche, Louis Laurencelle, Roy J. Shephard, and Francois Trudeau

Background:

Several studies have reported an age-related decline of physical activity (PA). We examined the impact of 4 important transitional periods—adolescence, the beginning of postsecondary education, entry into the labor market, and parenthood—on the PA of participants in the Trois-Rivières quasi-experimental study.

Methods:

In 2008, 44 women and 42 men aged 44.0 ± 1.2 years were given a semistructured interview; the frequency and duration of physical activities were examined during each of these transition periods. Subjects had been assigned to either an experimental program [5 h of weekly physical education (PE) from Grades 1 to 6] or the standard curriculum (40 min of weekly PE) throughout primary school.

Results:

The percentage of individuals undertaking ≥ 5 h of PA per week decreased from 70.4% to 17.0% between adolescence and midlife. The largest decline occurred on entering the labor market (from 55.9% to 23.4%). At midlife, there were no significant differences of PA level between experimental and control groups. Men were more active than women at each transition except for parenthood.

Conclusions:

Our results highlight a progressive nonlinear decline of PA involvement in both groups. Promotion initiatives should target these periods to prevent the decline of PA.

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Richard Larouche, Travis John Saunders, Guy Edward John Faulkner, Rachel Colley, and Mark Tremblay

Background:

The impact of active school transport (AST) on daily physical activity (PA) levels, body composition and cardiovascular fitness remains unclear.

Methods:

A systematic review was conducted to examine differences in PA, body composition and cardiovascular fitness between active and passive travelers. The Medline, PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, and ProQuest databases were searched and 10 key informants were consulted. Quality of evidence was assessed with GRADE and with the Effective Public Health Practice Project tool for quantitative studies.

Results:

Sixty-eight different studies met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies found that active school travelers were more active or that AST interventions lead to increases in PA, and the quality of evidence is moderate. There is conflicting, and therefore very low quality evidence, regarding the associations between AST and body composition indicators, and between walking to/from school and cardiovascular fitness; however, all studies with relevant measures found a positive association between cycling to/from school and cardiovascular fitness; this evidence is of moderate quality.

Conclusion:

These findings suggest that AST should be promoted to increase PA levels in children and adolescents and that cycling to/from school is associated with increased cardiovascular fitness. Intervention studies are needed to increase the quality of evidence.

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Silvia A. González, Olga L. Sarmiento, Richard Larouche, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, and Mark S. Tremblay

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.