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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003 Sep;157(9):887-92.

Statewide prevalence and correlates of walking and bicycling to school.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27514, USA. kelly_evenson@unc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Travel to and from school can be an important and regular source of physical activity for youth. Few US studies have documented the prevalence and correlates of walking and bicycling to school.

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the prevalence and correlates of walking and bicycling to school among middle and high school youth.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional survey.

SETTING:

Sixty middle schools and 62 high schools selected in North Carolina.

PARTICIPANTS:

Students in 6th through 8th grades (n = 2151) and in 9th through 12th grades (n = 2297) during the spring of 2001.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Walking or bicycling to school in a usual week.

RESULTS:

Among middle school students, 9.4% usually walked to school and 4.1% usually bicycled to school at least 1 day per week. Among high school students, 4.9% usually walked to school and 2.8% usually bicycled to school at least 1 day per week. For middle school youth, walking or bicycling to school was more prevalent among boys and among nonwhites. For high school youth, walking or bicycling to school was also more prevalent among nonwhites. For middle school youth (but not high school youth), a higher body mass index (85th to less than 95th percentile) was associated with a reduced odds of walking to school. For high school youth (but not middle school youth), participating in physical education 1 to 4 days per week or never having an adult at home immediately after school was associated with walking or bicycling to school. Higher parental educational level was associated with a reduced odds of walking to school among high school youth.

CONCLUSIONS:

The descriptive information provided by this study broadens our limited understanding of the prevalence and correlates of walking and bicycling to school in the United States. Further qualitative and quantitative descriptive data are needed to develop successful interventions to increase walking and bicycling to school.

PMID:
12963594
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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