Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Description and Correlates of Active Transport to School

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Description and Correlates of Active Transport to School

Article excerpt

Many American adolescents do not meet physical activity (PA) guidelines. One way that adolescents can incorporate PA into their daily regimens is by actively transporting themselves to school (ATS). ATS has declined greatly since the 1960's when about one-half of students walked or biked to school. Today it is estimated that only 11% of students use ATS, most of whom are elementary aged. Although it is unlikely that ATS alone will be sufficient for students to meet PA guidelines, it is an opportunity for students to be active. We sought to describe and predict who walks to and from school among high school students. Students completed a 30-item baseline survey as a part of an intervention designed to improve health behaviors. The survey included items that assessed PA, diet, attitudinal and demographic variables. Participants were also asked how they normally get to and from school. Descriptive statistics were calculated and regression was used to predict ATS. Independent variables in the regression model were age, gender, race, school and typical television viewing habits. A total of 2,689 students from four high schools in the Inter-Mountain West completed the survey. The mean age of the sample was 15.18 years (SD = 1.45), 50.4% were girls and 87.9% described their race as white. Only 4.7 % of students reported walking or biking to school, which is similar to rates that other have found (Braza et al. …

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