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Health Educ Res. 2008 Dec;23(6):963-75. Epub 2007 Oct 22.

Policies related to active transport to and from school: a multisite case study.

Author information

1
Saint Louis University School of Public Health, St Louis, MO 63104, USA. eyleras@accessus.net

Abstract

Active transportation to and from school (ATS) is a viable strategy to help increase physical activity among youth. ATS can be challenging because initiatives require transdisciplinary collaboration, are influenced by the built environment and are affected by numerous policies. The purpose of this study is to identify policies and factors that influence ATS initiatives. Nine elementary schools in seven states participated in this case study. Sixty-nine stakeholders were interviewed. The interviews were transcribed, coded and analyzed using a master thematic codebook. This study identified two distinct aspects of policies: 'influential factors' which are factors that might impact policies related to ATS and 'policy actions' which are policies reported by people involved in ATS initiatives that directly affected their success. Influential factors included sidewalks, crosswalks/crossing guards, funding, personal safety concerns, advocacy group involvement and others. Policy actions included policies on school speed zone, drop-off, no-transport zones, school siting, school start/dismissal time and school choice. Despite the diversity of the schools studied, similarities included influence of built environment, safety concerns, funding and transdisciplinary collaboration. Stakeholders need to work together to stimulate action and ensure successful initiatives. Influential factors appear to be important to this process.

PMID:
17956883
DOI:
10.1093/her/cym061
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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