Environmental and socio-demographic associates of children’s active transport to school: a cross-sectional investigation from the URBAN Study

Oliver, Melody, Badland, Hannah, Mavoa, Suzanne, Witten, Karen, Kearns, Robin, Ellaway, Anne, Hinckson, Erica, Mackay, Lisa and Schluter, Philip J. (2014) Environmental and socio-demographic associates of children’s active transport to school: a cross-sectional investigation from the URBAN Study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 11 1: 1-12. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-11-70

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Author Oliver, Melody
Badland, Hannah
Mavoa, Suzanne
Witten, Karen
Kearns, Robin
Ellaway, Anne
Hinckson, Erica
Mackay, Lisa
Schluter, Philip J.
Title Environmental and socio-demographic associates of children’s active transport to school: a cross-sectional investigation from the URBAN Study
Journal name International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1479-5868
Publication date 2014-06-02
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1479-5868-11-70
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 11
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Active transport (e.g., walking, cycling) to school (ATS) can contribute to children’s physical activity and health. The built environment is acknowledged as an important factor in understanding children’s ATS, alongside parental factors and seasonality. Inconsistencies in methodological approaches exist, and a clear understanding of factors related to ATS remains equivocal. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of associates of children’s ATS, by considering the effects of daily weather patterns and neighbourhood walk ability and neighbourhood preferences (i.e., for living in a high or low walkable neighbourhood) on this behaviour.
Methods: Data were drawn from the Understanding Relationships between Activity and Neighbourhoods study, a cross-sectional study of physical activity and the built environment in adults and children in four New Zealand cities. Parents of participating children completed an interview and daily trip diary that assessed their child’s mode of travel to school, household and individual demographic information, and parental neighbourhood preference. Daily weather data were downloaded from New Zealand’s national climate database. Geographic information systems-derived variables were calculated for distance to school and neighbourhood walkability. Bivariate analyses were conducted with ATS and potential associates; factors related to ATS at p < 0.20 were considered simultaneously in generalized estimation equation models, and backwards elimination of non-significant factors was conducted; city was treated as a fixed effect in all models.
Results: A total of 217 children aged 6.5-15 years participated in this study. Female sex, age, city, household income, limited/no car access, residing in zone of school, shorter distance to school, neighbourhood self selection, rainfall, and sunlight hours were simultaneously considered in multivariate generalised estimation equation modelling (all p < 0.20 in bivariate analyses). After elimination of non-significant factors, age (p = 0.005), shorter distance to school (p < 0.001), city (p = 0.03), and neighbourhood self selection (p = 0.04) remained significantly associated with ATS in the multivariate analysis.
Conclusion: Distance to school is the prevailing environmental influencing factor on children’s ATS. This study, in conjunction with previous research, suggests that school siting is likely an important associate of children’s ATS.
Keyword Built environment
Walkability
Walking
Cycling
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article # 70

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 12 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 09 Jul 2014, 23:34:56 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work