Do Not Forget About Public Transportation: Analysis of the Association of Active Transportation to School Among Washington, DC Area Children With Parental Perceived Built Environment Measures

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD $115.00

1 year subscription

USD $153.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD $218.00

2 year subscription

USD $285.00

Background: Although the active transportation (AT) indicator received an F grade on the 2016 US Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, this AT assessment excluded public transportation. An objective of the Built Environment and Active Play Study was to assess youth AT, including public transportation, among Washington, DC area children in relation to parental perceptions of neighborhood built environment (BE) variables. Methods: Questionnaires were mailed to 2000 parents of children aged 7–12 years. AT to school (ATS) was assessed with the question: “In an average school week, how many days does your child use each of the following ways to get to and from school? (a) Walk; (b) Bike; (c) Car; (d) Bus or Metro.” Parental perceived BE data were obtained through questionnaire items, and logistic regression was conducted to determine if BE variables were associated with youth ATS. Results: The sample included 144 children (50% female; average age 9.7 years; 56.3% white; 23.7% African American; 10.4% Asian American). Over 30% used ATS-public transportation 5 days per week, and nearly 13% used ATS-walking daily. Parental perceived BE variables significantly predicted youth ATS-walking and ATS-public transportation. Conclusions: ATS-public transportation is common among Washington, DC area youth, and parental perceptions of BE can significantly predict ATS.

Roberts and Rodkey are with the Dept of Kinesiology, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Ray is with the Dept of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Saelens is with the Depts of Pediatrics and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, WA.

Roberts (jenrob@umd.edu) is corresponding author.
Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Article Sections
References
  • 1.

    Healthy Spaces and Places Australian Local Government Association; National Heart Foundation of Australia; Planning Institute of Australia; Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Healthy Spaces & Places: Design principles: active transport. 2016. http://www.healthyplaces.org.au/site/design_for_active_transport.php. Accessed August 24 2016.

    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Cooper ARAndersen LBWedderkopp NPage ASFroberg K. Physical activity levels of children who walk, cycle, or are driven to school. Am J Prev Med. 2005;29(3):179184. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2005.05.009

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Carver ATimperio AHesketh KCrawford D. Are children and adolescents less active if parents restrict their physical activity and active transport due to perceived risk? Soc Sci Med. 2010;70(11):17991805. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.02.010

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    McDonald NCBrown ALMarchetti LMPedroso MS. U.S. school travel, 2009 an assessment of trends. Am J Prev Med. 2011;41(2):146151. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2011.04.006

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    McDonald NC. Active transportation to school: trends among U.S. schoolchildren, 1969–2001. Am J Prev Med. 2007;32(6):509516. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2007.02.022

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Henne HMTandon PSFrank LDSaelens BE. Parental factors in children’s active transport to school. Public Health. 2014;128(7):643646. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2014.05.004

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Napier MABrown BBWerner CMGallimore J. Walking to school: community design and child and parent barrier. J Environ Psychol. 2011;31:4551. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2010.04.005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Salmon JSalmon LCrawford DAHume CTimperio A. Associations among individual, social, and environmental barriers and children’s walking or cycling to school. Am J Health Promot. 2007;22(2):107113. PubMed doi:10.4278/0890-1171-22.2.107

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Oliver MBadland HMavoa Set al. Environmental and socio-demographic associates of children’s active transport to school: a cross-sectional investigation from the URBAN Study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2014;11:70.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Miller WCRedmond JGVaux-Bjerke AT. Activity patterns and perceptions about active transport to school. Am J Health Behav. 2013;37(2):190198. doi:10.5993/AJHB.37.2.6

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Rothman LTo TBuliung RMacarthur CHoward A. Influence of social and built environment features on children walking to school: an observational study. Prev Med. 2014;60:1015. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.12.005

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Giles-Corti BWood GPikora Tet al. School site and the potential to walk to school: the impact of street connectivity and traffic exposure in school neighborhoods. Health Place. 2011;17(2):545550. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.12.011

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Mitra RBuliung RN. Built environment correlates of active school transportation: neighborhood and the modifiable areal unit problem. J Transp Geogr. 2012;20(1):5161. doi:10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2011.07.009

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Katzmarzyk PTDenstel KDBeals Ket al. Results from the United States of America’s 2016 report card on physical activity for children and youth. J Phys Act Health. 2016;13(11)(suppl 2):307313. PubMed doi:10.1123/jpah.2016-0321

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    US Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Results from the School Health Policies and Practices Study 2014. 2015. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/shpps/pdf/shpps-508-final_101315.pdf. Accessed May 5 2017.

    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Active Living Research Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Moving toward active transportation: how policies can encourage walking and bicycling. 2016. http://activelivingresearch.org/sites/default/files/ALR_Review_ActiveTransport_January2016.pdf. Accessed May 5 2017.

    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    American Public Health Association. Active transportation: benefitting health, safety and equity. 2010. https://www.apha.org/~/media/files/pdf/topics/transport/apha_active_transportation_fact_sheet_2010.ashx. Accessed August 25 2016.

    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    US Department of Health and Human Service Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC transportation recommendations. 2011. https://www.cdc.gov/transportation/recommendation.htm. Accessed May 5 2017.

    • Export Citation
  • 19.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthy places: transportation health impact assessment toolkit. 2011. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/transportation/promote_strategy.htm. Accessed August 25 2016.

    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    World Health Organization. Urban transport and health. 2011. http://www.who.int/hia/green_economy/giz_transport.pdf. Accessed August 25 2016.

    • Export Citation
  • 21.

    McDonald NC. Critical factors for active transportation to school among low-income and minority students. Evidence from the 2001 National Household Travel Survey. Am J Prev Med. 2008;34(4):341344. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2008.01.004

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22.

    Roberts JDRay RBiles ADKnight BSaelens BE. Built environment and active play among Washington DC metropolitan children: A protocol for a cross-sectional study. Arch Public Health. 2015;73(1):22. PubMed doi:10.1186/s13690-015-0070-3

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    NIK. Neighborhood Impact on Kids (NIK) Surveys—Seattle Children’s NIK Project. 2013. http://www.seattlechildrens.org/research/child-health-behavior-and-development/saelens-lab/measures-and-protocols/. Accessed February 15 2018.

    • Export Citation
  • 24.

    NIK. Neighborhood Impact on Kids (NIK) Project. 2013. https://www.seattlechildrens.org/NIK_Survey_Final.doc. Accessed February 15 2018.

    • Export Citation
  • 25.

    StataCorp LP. Stata Statistical Software—Stata/MP 14.1 for Mac. College Station, TX: StataCorp LP;2015.

  • 26.

    Pizarro ANRibeiro JCMarques EAMota JSantos MP. Is walking to school associated with improved metabolic health? Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013;10:12.

  • 27.

    Larouche RSaunders TJFaulkner GColley RTremblay M. Associations between active school transport and physical activity, body composition, and cardiovascular fitness: a systematic review of 68 studies. J Phys Act Health. 2014;11(1):206227. PubMed doi:10.1123/jpah.2011-0345

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    Owen CGNightingale CMRudnicka ARet al. Travel to school and physical activity levels in 9-10 year-old UK children of different ethnic origin; Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE). PLoS ONE. 2012;7(2):e30932. PubMed doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030932

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29.

    Carver ATimperio AFHesketh KDRidgers NDSalmon JLCrawford DA. How is active transport associated with children’s and adolescents’ physical activity over time? Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011;8:126.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30.

    Pizarro ANSchipperijn JAnderse HBRibeiro JCMota JSantos MP. Active commuting to school in Portuguese adolescents: using PALMS to detect trips. J Trans Health. 2016;3(3):297304. doi:10.1016/j.jth.2016.02.004

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 31.

    Ostergaard LKolle ESteene-Johannessen JAnderssen SAAndersen LB. Cross sectional analysis of the association between mode of school transportation and physical fitness in children and adolescents. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013;10:91. PubMed doi:10.1186/1479-5868-10-91

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32.

    Drenowatz CKobel SKettner Set al. Correlates of weight gain in German children attending elementary school. Prev Med. 2013;57(4):310314. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.06.004

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 33.

    Andersen LBLawlor DACooper ARFroberg KAnderssen SA. Physical fitness in relation to transport to school in adolescents: the Danish youth and sports study. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2009;19(3):406411. PubMed doi:10.1111/j.1600-0838.2008.00803.x

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 34.

    Booth MLOkely ADDenney-Wilson Eet al. Characteristics of travel to and from school among adolescents in NSW, Australia. J Paediatr Child Health. 2007;43(11):755761. PubMed doi:10.1111/j.1440-1754.2007.01159.x

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 35.

    Saelens BEVernez Moudon AKang BHurvitz PMZhou C. Relation between higher physical activity and public transit use. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(5):854859. PubMed doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301696

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 36.

    Saelens BESallis JFFrank LD. Environmental correlates of walking and cycling: findings from the transportation, urban design, and planning literatures. Ann Behav Med. 2003;25(2):8091. PubMed doi:10.1207/S15324796ABM2502_03

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 37.

    Johansson KHasselberg MLaflamme L. Young adolescents’ independent mobility, related factors and association with transport to school. A cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2010;10:635.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 38.

    Trapp GSGiles-Corti BChristian HEet al. Increasing children’s physical activity: individual, social, and environmental factors associated with walking to and from school. Health Educ Behav. 2012;39(2):172182. PubMed doi:10.1177/1090198111423272

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 39.

    Cloutier MSBergeron JApparicio P. Predictors of parental risk perceptions: the case of child pedestrian injuries in school context. Risk Anal. 2011;31(2):312323. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6924.2010.01501.x

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 40.

    Timperio ACrawford DTelford ASalmon J. Perceptions about the local neighborhood and walking and cycling among children. Prev Med. 2004;38(1):3947. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2003.09.026

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 41.

    Johansson KLaflamme LHasselberg M. Active commuting to and from school among Swedish children—a national and regional study. Eur J Public Health. 2012;22(2):209214. PubMed doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckr042

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 42.

    Mandic SHopkins DBengoechea EGet al. Adolescents’ perceptions of cycling versus walking to school: understanding the New Zealand context. J Trans Health. 2016;4:294304. doi:10.1016/j.jth.2016.10.007

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 43.

    Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. 2014 Annual Green Roof Industry Survey. 2015. https://greenroofs.org/green-roof-industry-survey/. Accessed February 15 2018.

    • Export Citation
  • 44.

    Let’s Move. Learn the facts: about Let’s Move. 2012. https://letsmove.obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/about. Accessed February 15 2018.

    • Export Citation
  • 45.

    US Census Reporter. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area. US Census Bureau2015. http://censusreporter.org/profiles/31000US47900-washington-arlington-alexandria-dc-va-md-wv-metro-area/. Accessed January 9 2017.

    • Export Citation
  • 46.

    World Health Organization. Physical activity strategy for the WHO European Region 2016–2025. 2016. http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/282961/65wd09e_PhysicalActivityStrategy_150474.pdf. Accessed December 12 2016.

    • Export Citation
  • 47.

    US Department of Health and Human Services. Step it up! The surgeon general’s call to action to promote walking and walkable communities. 2015. https://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/walking-and-walkable-communities/. Accessed December 12 2016.

    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • 48.

    Greater Greater Washington. Purple Line opposition has “tarnished” the Town of Chevy Chase. 2008. http://ggwash.org/view/984/purple-line-opposition-has-tarnished-the-town-of-chevy-chase. Accessed December 12 2015.

    • Export Citation
  • 49.

    Maryland Reporter. Purple Line Part I: to build or not to build a $2.4 billion light rail line. 2015. http://marylandreporter.com/2015/01/12/purple-line-part-i-to-build-or-not-to-build-a-2-4-billion-light-rail-line/. Accessed December 12 2016.

    • Export Citation
  • 50.

    The Washington Post. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says Purple Line will move forward. 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/2015/06/25/a255fe8c-1b4d-11e5-93b7-5eddc056ad8a_story.html?utm_term=.3cb943e6fa3c. Accessed December 12 2016.

    • Export Citation
Article Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 33 33 5
Full Text Views 1 1 1
PDF Downloads 0 0 0
Altmetric Badge
PubMed
Google Scholar