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Tom Cole-Hunter, Lidia Morawska and Colin Solomon

Background:

An increase in bicycle commuting participation may improve public health and traffic congestion in cities. Information on air pollution exposure (such as perception, symptoms, and risk management) contributes to the responsible promotion of bicycle commuting participation.

Methods:

To determine perceptions, symptoms, and willingness for specific exposure risk management strategies of exposure to air pollution, a questionnaire-based cross-sectional investigation was conducted with adult bicycle commuters (n = 153; age = 41 ± 11 years; 28% female).

Results:

Frequency of acute respiratory signs and symptoms were positively associated with in-commute and postcommute compared with precommute time periods (P < .05); there was greater positive association with respiratory disorder compared with healthy, and female compared with male, participants. The perception (but not signs or symptoms) of in-commute exposure to air pollution was positively associated with the estimated level of in-commute proximity to motorized traffic. The majority of participants indicated a willingness (which varied with health status and gender) to adopt risk management strategies (with desired features) if shown to be appropriate and effective.

Conclusions:

While acute signs and symptoms of air pollution exposure are indicated with bicycle commuting, and more so in susceptible individuals, there is willingness to manage exposure risk by adopting effective strategies with desired features.

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Ana Queralt and Javier Molina-García

MVPA and active commuting (AC) to destinations among Spanish adolescents. Methods Study Design and Participants We used data from the IPEN Adolescent study that was conducted in Valencia, Spain, between 2013 and 2015. 5 A cross-sectional study was designed to recruit participants from schools based on

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Kelly Samara Silva, Daniel Giordani Vasques, Caroline de Oliveira Martins, Laura Ashley Williams and Adair S. Lopes

Background:

Research has demonstrated that adolescents who actively commute have higher levels of physical activity (PA), which have declined precipitously over the past 30 years. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of active commuting to school; and to identify barriers associated with active commuting.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study was conducted with 1672 students (46.8% boys and 53.2% girls) from 11 to 17 years of age in Caxias do Sul/RS, Brazil. The students were asked to answer questionnaires about active transport, PA, and sedentary behaviors. They also completed a cardiovascular fitness test and body composition measurements. The study used a multivariate Poisson regression analysis.

Results:

A total of 62.5% of students were observed to actively commute and the prevalence ratio (PR) of not actively commuting was associated with the type of school (Private: 2.41; 1.47, 3.95) and the time spent on commuting (>20 min: 1.93; 1.23, 3.03). The associated barriers to passive commuting were distance (3.02; 1.95, 4.71), crime/ danger (2.65; 1.82, 3.85), and traffic (1.75; 1.19, 2.58).

Conclusions:

This study showed that environmental variables were strongly associated with active commuting. However, no alterations in body composition or other behavioral variables were observed after adjustment.

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Javier Molina-García and Ana Queralt

Active commuting to school (ACS) significantly contributes to physical activity levels and health in children 1 ; however, ACS is declining due to the increasing use of motorized vehicles. 2 , 3 According to ecological models of health behavior, 4 neighborhood type is a particularly important

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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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Ilca M.S. Diniz, Maria de Fátima S. Duarte, Karen G. Peres, Elusa S.A. de Oliveira and Angélia Berndt

Objective:

The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an educational intervention on active commuting by bicycle.

Methods:

An intervention study with workers from a metallurgical industry in Santa Catarina state, Brazil was carried out in 2011. A total of 464 individuals were placed in the intervention group (IG) and 468 in the control group (CG). The intervention consisted of strategies based on the transtheoretical model and stages of behavior change. The intervention group took part in activities for 6 months, including 23 meetings. The statistical analysis included intergroup comparison (IG × CG) at baseline and after the intervention. Intragroup analysis was performed 6 months after the intervention. Student’s t-test, chi-square, and McNemar tests were used to analyze the data.

Results:

Of the original total, 876 individuals (94%) participated in the study. The proportion of participants that used bicycles to commute to work (IG) increased significantly from baseline (45.3%) to the final interventional period (47.5%). No difference was found between the CG and the IG group after the interventional period.

Conclusion:

We suggest taking these findings into consideration in further studies to understand better the role of educational intervention on active commuting by bicycle.

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Melissa Bopp, Cheryl Der Ananian and Matthew E. Campbell

The demonstrated health benefits of active commuting (AC) and low participation rates among older adults indicate a need to examine the socioecological correlates of AC by age category. An online survey of employed U.S. adults examined AC participation and individual, employment-related, community, and environmental variables. Participants were dichotomized by age (younger: 18–49 yr; n = 638, 64% and older: ≥50 yr; n = 359, 36%). Logistic-regression analyses examined differences in AC correlates by age. Older adults were less likely to be active commuters (13.4%) than younger adults (27.9%; p < .001) For older adults, analyses yielded a Nagelkerke R2 = .76, with perceived behavioral control, behavioral beliefs, household cars, and walking distance as predictors. Analyses for younger adults resulted in a Nagelkerke R2 = .79, with perceived behavioral control, coworker normative beliefs, parking problems at work, greater employer and community support for AC, and bad weather as predictors. Findings suggest age should be considered when examining and targeting AC behaviors.

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Victoria Morckel and Kathryn Terzano

Background:

This study examines the relationships between physical activity, travel attitudes, commute mode choice, and perceived neighborhood characteristics. A recent study found that people who walk or bike during their commute exercise more outside of the commute than do people who commute by mass transit or car. The current study seeks to explain what might account for this relationship, using ANOVA models (Method) conducted on survey data from 3 cities.

Results:

Perceived neighborhood characteristics and travel attitudes influence participants’ reported physical activity levels both during the commute and outside of the commute.

Conclusion:

While the study does not establish causality, the results provide some support for the notion that policy makers interested in increasing physical activity levels should consider changing not only the physical environment, but also perceived neighborhood characteristics and travel attitudes.

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Murray C. Lee, Marla R. Orenstein and Maxwell J. Richardson

Background:

The recent decline in children’s active commuting (walking or biking) to school has become an important public health issue. Recent programs have promoted the positive effects of active commuting on physical activity (PA) and overweight. However, the evidence supporting such interventions among schoolchildren has not been previously evaluated.

Methods:

This article presents the results of a systematic review of the association between active commuting to school and outcomes of PA, weight, and obesity in children.

Results:

We found 32 studies that assessed the association between active commuting to school and PA or weight in children. Most studies assessing PA outcomes found a positive association between active commuting and overall PA levels. However, almost all studies were cross-sectional in design and did not indicate whether active commuting leads to increased PA or whether active children are simply more likely to walk. Only 3 of 18 studies examining weight found consistent results, suggesting that there might be no association between active commuting and reduced weight or body mass index.

Conclusion:

Although there are consistent findings from cross-sectional studies associating active commuting with increased total PA, interventional studies are needed to help determine causation.

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Jason A. Mendoza, Kathy Watson, Nga Nguyen, Ester Cerin, Tom Baranowski and Theresa A. Nicklas

Background:

Walking or bicycling to school (ie, active commuting) has shown promise for improving physical activity and preventing obesity in youth. Our objectives were to examine, among US youth, whether active commuting was inversely associated with adiposity and positively associated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). We also examined whether MVPA mediated the relationships between active commuting and adiposity.

Methods:

Using data of participants aged 12 to 19 years from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003 to 2004 (n = 789 unweighted), we constructed multiple linear regression models that controlled for dietary energy intake and sociodemographics. The main exposure variable was active commuting. The outcomes were BMI z-score, waist circumference, skinfolds and objectively measured MVPA. The product-of-coefficients method was used to test for mediation.

Results:

Active commuting was inversely associated with BMI z-score (β = −0.07, P = .046) and skinfolds (β = −0.06, P = .029), and positively associated with overall daily (β = 0.12, P = .024) and before- and after-school (β = 0.20, P < .001) MVPA. Greater before- and after-school MVPA explained part of the relationship between active commuting and waist circumference (Sobel z = −1.98, P = .048).

Conclusions:

Active commuting was associated with greater MVPA and lower measures of adiposity among US youth. Before- and after-school MVPA mediated the relationships between active commuting and waist circumference.