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Javier Molina-García and Ana Queralt

Background:

The role of neighborhood type in active commuting to school (ACS) has not been extensively studied in children. The purpose of this study was to analyze the association between neighborhood built environment (walkability) and neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) with ACS among children.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study of 310 Spanish children (aged 10–12 y; 51% male) was conducted in 2015. Walkability was defined as an index of 3 built environment characteristics (ie, residential density, land-use mix, and street connectivity) based on geographical information system data. Children’s home and school neighborhoods were evaluated. ACS was evaluated by questionnaire. Mixed model regression analyses evaluated ACS in relation to neighborhood walkability and SES.

Results:

There were no significant SES–walkability interactions for ACS. Children living in more walkable neighborhoods reported 2.5 more trips per week compared with those living in less walkable neighborhoods (P < .001). Children attending schools located in lower SES neighborhoods reported more ACS trips per week than those attending schools in higher SES neighborhoods (P < .05).

Conclusions:

Home-neighborhood walkability and school-neighborhood SES were associated with ACS. This study highlights the importance of assessing children’s home environment and school environment when ACS behavior is analyzed.

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Javier Molina-García and Ana Queralt

Background:

This paper analyzes changes in the frequency of cycling to school and helmet wearing after the introduction of a mandatory helmet law, and attempts to identify factors associated with the acceptance of helmet use.

Methods:

A mixed-method study was designed with a 7-month follow-up period (April 2014 to November 2014). The initial sample included 262 students (aged 12 to 16 years) from Valencia, Spain. The data were collected by questionnaire and 2 focus-group interviews were conducted.

Results:

No significant changes in cyclingto-school behavior were found during the study period. Cycle helmet use improved, especially among boys, those who used their own bike, and among adolescents who lived within 2 km of school (P < .05 in all cases). The most common reasons given for not using a helmet were social factors. Peer-group pressure had a negative influence on helmet use among adolescents. Participants also indicated that helmet use is inconvenient, in particular among students who used the public bicycle-sharing program.

Conclusions:

The implementation of the helmet-use law did not have a negative impact on the frequency of cycling to school. Our findings provide an empirical basis for designing educational interventions and programs to increase helmet use among adolescents.

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Ana Queralt and Javier Molina-García

Background: The associations between objectively measured built-environment attributes and physical activity (PA) behavior have not been extensively studied in adolescents. This research aimed to analyze the associations between built-environment attributes and moderate to vigorous PA and active commuting among adolescents. Methods: Our sample comprised 465 Spanish adolescents (aged 14–18 y) who were recruited from the IPEN Adolescent study. The built-environment attributes around participant’s home (0.25-, 0.5-, and 1-km street-network buffers) and moderate to vigorous PA were objectively measured. Results: Net residential density and urban greenland area were positively associated with moderate to vigorous PA in 0.25- and 1-km buffers, respectively, and street intersection density was positively associated with active commuting, both in the 0.5- and 1-km buffers. Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of assessing adolescents’ neighborhoods when PA behavior is analyzed and when targeting PA interventions to promote health-enhancing behaviors.

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Javier Molina-García, James F. Sallis and Isabel Castillo

Background:

Commuting to university represents an opportunity to incorporate physical activity (walking or biking) into students’ daily routines. There are few studies that analyze patterns of transport in university populations. This cross-sectional study estimated energy expenditure from active commuting to university (ACU) and examined sociodemographic differences in findings.

Methods:

The sample included 518 students with a mean age of 22.4 years (59.7% female) from 2 urban universities in Valencia, Spain. Time spent in each mode of transport to university and sociodemographic factors was assessed by self-report.

Results:

Nearly 35% of the students reported walking or biking as their main mode of transport. ACU (min/wk) were highest for walkers (168) and cyclists (137) and lowest for motorbike riders (0.0) and car drivers (16). Public transport users, younger students, low socioeconomic status students, and those living ≤ 2 km from the university had higher energy expenditure from active commuting than comparison groups. Biking was highest among those living 2–5 km from the university.

Conclusions:

Our findings suggest that active commuting and public transit use generated substantial weekly energy expenditure, contributed to meeting physical activity recommendations, and may aid in obesity prevention.

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Javier Molina-García, Ana Queralt, Isabel Castillo and James F. Sallis

Background:

This study examined changes in multiple physical activity domains during the transition out of high school and psychosocial and environmental determinants of these changes.

Methods:

A 1-year prospective study was designed. The baseline sample was composed of 244 last-year high school students (58.6% female) from Valencia, Spain. Follow-up rate was 46%. Physical activity and potential determinants were measured by the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire and other evaluated scales in 2 waves.

Results:

Total physical activity and active commuting (AC) decreased, respectively, by 21% and 36%, only in males. At time 1, access to car/motorbike (inverse), planning/psychosocial barriers (inverse), street connectivity (positive) and parental education (inverse) were significantly associated with AC (P < .05). Prospectively, the increase in distance to school/workplace was associated with AC decrease among males (P < .001). In both genders, there was a decrease in leisure-time physical activity (LTPA; –35% in males, –43% in females). At time 1, self-efficacy and social support were positive correlates of LTPA (P < .05). Social support decreases were associated with reductions in LTPA for males (P < .05).

Conclusions:

Several psychosocial and environmental correlates of physical activity change were identified, and these are promising targets for interventions.

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Isaac Estevan, Javier Molina-García, Ana Queralt, Octavio Álvarez, Isabel Castillo and Lisa Barnett

The Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD) is a process-oriented scale that provides qualitative information on children’s motor competence. The aim of the current study was to analyze the psychometric properties by examining the internal consistency and construct validity of the Spanish version of the TGMD-3. A sample of 178 typically developing children (47.5% girls) between the ages 3 and 11 years participated in this study. Reliability and the within-network psychometric properties of TGMD-3 were examined by using internal consistency and confirmatory factor analysis. Reliability indexes were excellent (> 0.89). A two-factor structure model was hypothesized and an alternative unifactorial model was also tested. Adequate fit indexes in both a two-factor model [ball skills seven items and locomotor skills six items (χ2 (64) = 139.200, p < .010, RMSEA = 0.073, SRMR = 0.050, NNFI = 0.964, CFI = 0.970)] and a one-factor model [(χ2 (65) = 157.666, p < .010, RMSEA = 0.084, SRMR = 0.055, NNFI = 0.956, CFI = 0.963)] were found. The Spanish version of the TGMD-3 is thus suitable for studying children’s actual motor competence level in terms of locomotor and ball skills and also in terms of fundamental movement skills.

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Isaac Estevan, Javier Molina-García, Gavin Abbott, Steve J. Bowe, Isabel Castillo and Lisa M. Barnett

Perceived motor competence is a subdomain of perceived physical competence that is related to the practice of physical activity and motor skills. The Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence (PMSC) assesses perceived motor competence (locomotor, object control, and active play skills) in children. The purpose of the present study was twofold: first, to translate the PMSC into Spanish and to test the reliability (internal consistency and test-retest) and construct validity of the aforementioned scale in a Spanish sample; second, to analyze children’s perception of motor competence according to gender. Two hundred and forty-seven typically developed children (51% boys) between 5 and 11 years old participated in the study. Internal consistency reliability was acceptable. Children’s test-retest reliability was between high and excellent. A Bayesian Structural Equation approach showed the original hypothesized three-factor model was a poor fit, but a two-factor model (i.e., locomotion and object control) was an adequate fit. Boys reported higher perception in the object control and overall motor competence, but similar perception in locomotor skills to girls. The PMSC can provide a useful way to study the nature and impact of motor competence perception in young children of Spanish-speaking communities.