Despite the known health benefits associated with active transportation to school (ATS), 1 – 5 rates have declined in the United States. In 1969, approximately 48% of all school children walked or biked to or from school. By 2014, overall rates dropped between 15.2% (to school) and 18.4% (from
Allison Ross, Ja Youn Kwon, Pamela Hodges Kulinna and Mark Searle
Meera Sreedhara, Karin Valentine Goins, Christine Frisard, Milagros C. Rosal and Stephenie C. Lemon
Active transportation provides the opportunity to achieve recommended amounts of physical activity (PA) and is linked to reductions in adverse cardiovascular outcomes. 1 , 2 However, a small proportion of US adults and children report walking or biking for transportation. 3 , 4 Evidence
Samantha M. Gray, Peggy Chen, Lena Fleig, Paul A. Gardiner, Megan M. McAllister, Joseph H. Puyat, Joanie Sims-Gould, Heather A. McKay, Meghan Winters and Maureen C. Ashe
) in the United Kingdom: Those who used active transportation were more likely to meet physical activity guidelines. 9 Literature further highlights that older adults with access to a free transit pass are more likely to use public transit 10 and that training in utilitarian and leisure walking may
Dawn C. Mackey, Alexander D. Perkins, Kaitlin Hong Tai, Joanie Sims-Gould and Heather A. McKay
social resources. These attributes form the central tenets of scalability ( Milat, King, Bauman, & Redman, 2013 ). Active transportation involves substituting motorized modes of daily transportation (e.g., driving) with active modes of transportation (e.g., walking, cycling; van Heeswijck et al., 2015
David R. Bassett Jr.
The built environment has profound effects on physical activity and health. Many communities in the US are built around the automobile, with little consideration given to pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users. These places tend to have higher rates of physical inactivity (defined as “no leisure time physical activity”) and higher rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. However, in some European countries and selected US cities, communities have been constructed in ways that encourage active modes of transportation. In these places, a large segment of the population meets physical activity guidelines, due in part to the activity they acquire in performing daily tasks. In addition to promoting active transportation, these environments promote recreational walking, jogging, and cycling. Kinesiologists can and should work with urban planners, transportation officials, developers, public health practitioners, and the general public to design cities in ways that enhance physical activity and health.
Jennifer D. Roberts, Lindsey Rodkey, Rashawn Ray and Brian E. Saelens
As obesity rates continue to increase among youth in the United States, methods for increasing physical activity have become a focal point of current research. Analyzing overall active transportation (AT) or active transportation to school (ATS) trends for youth, and the factors that influence this
Melissa Bopp, Christopher Bopp and Megan Schuchert
Active transportation (AT) has been associated with positive health outcomes, yet limited research has addressed this with college students, a population at-risk for inactivity. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between AT behavior and objectively measured fitness outcomes.
A volunteer, convenience sample (n = 299) of college students from a large northeastern university completed a survey about their AT habits to and on campus and psychosocial constructs related to AT and participated in a laboratory-based fitness assessment (cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, body composition).Off-campus students were dichotomized as nonactive (0−1 AT trips/day) or active travelers (> 1 AT trips/day) to campus; t-tests compared nonactive and active travelers for psychosocial and fitness variables.
Students were 56.3% male, 79.2% non-Hispanic White, and primarily living off-campus (87%). Most students (n = 177, 59.2%) reported active travel between classes. Off-campus students were primarily active travelers (76.1%). Active travelers to campus had greater cardiovascular fitness (P = .005), were more flexible (P = .006) and had lower systolic blood pressure (P = .05) compared with nonactive travelers.
This study documents a relationship between AT behavior and objectively measured fitness among college students and provides a rationale for targeting this behavior as a method for improving health outcomes.
Ariane Bélanger-Gravel, Lise Gauvin, Daniel Fuller and Louis Drouin
Favorable public opinion and support for policies are essential to favor the sustainability of environmental interventions. This study examined public perceptions and support for active living policies associated with implementing a public bicycle share program (PBSP).
Two cross-sectional population-based telephone surveys were conducted in 2009 and 2010 among 5011 adults in Montréal, Canada. Difference-in-differences analyses tested the impact of the PBSP on negative perceptions of the impact of the PBSP on the image of the city, road safety, ease of traveling, active transportation, health, and resistance to policies.
People living closer to docking stations were less likely to have negative perceptions of the effect of the PBSP on the image of the city (OR = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4−0.8) and to be resistant to policies (OR = 0.8; 95% CI, 0.6−1.0). The likelihood of perceiving negative effects on road safety increased across time (OR = 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2−1.8). Significant interactions were observed for perceptions of ease of traveling (OR = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4−0.8), active transportation (OR = 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4−1.0), and health (OR = 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4−0.8): likelihood of negative perceptions decreased across time among people exposed.
Findings indicate that negative perceptions were more likely to abate among those living closer to the PBSP.
Patricia A. Collins and Daphne Mayer
Individuals that engage in active transportation (AT) have healthier weights and fitness levels. Most AT research has focused on work- or school-based destinations. Meanwhile, little is known about the differences between individuals that engage in the most common forms of AT—walking and cycling—and how these AT patterns vary by destination, duration, and season.
We recruited 1400 randomly sampled adults (350 per season) in Kingston, Ontario, Canada to complete a cross-sectional telephone survey. The survey captured the prevalence, destinations, and duration of AT, and we examined the observed differences by mode.
The majority (72%) of respondents were AT-users; walking constituted 93% of overall mode share. Cyclists were more likely to be male, younger, and employed than walkers. Walkers tended to access neighborhood-based destinations, while cyclists were more likely to use AT to get to work. AT duration was comparable by mode, ranging from approximately 8 to 20 minutes. Overall rates of AT were lowest in the winter, but walking rates were reasonably high year-round.
Beyond commuting to work and school, policy-makers and planners should consider the breadth of destinations accessed by different modes when aiming to increase physical activity through AT in their communities.
Christina C. Loitz and Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere
Despite the health benefits associated with physical activity participation, activity levels of North American children are declining. In response, practitioners are placing emphasis on active forms of transportation to and from school. The purpose of this study was to explore the barriers and facilitators to active transportation to school (ATS) from the perspectives of practitioners.
The perspectives of 19 practitioners (eg, health promoters, traffic engineers, police, etc.) from 3 communities in Alberta, Canada were captured using focus group interviews followed by content analysis.
Subthemes tied to barriers included logistics, lifestyle, safety, and lack of resources; while facilitators were comprised of collaboration, education, and leadership. The results were interpreted using an ecological model of health behavior.
The most common ATS barriers: attitudes and safety concerns, lack of resources and time, and the nature of the natural and built environments were associated with the intrapersonal, organizational, and physical environmental factors, respectively. The most significant organizational facilitators concerned collaboration among parents, schools, businesses, community organizations, and government agencies. While the multifaceted nature of barriers and facilitators add complexity to the issue, it also challenges practitioners to think and act creatively in finding solutions.