This paper estimates the amount of daily walking associated with using public transportation in a large metropolitan area and examines individual and contextual characteristics associated with walking distances. Total walking distance to and from transit was calculated from a travel diary survey for 6913 individuals. Multilevel regression modelling was used to examine the underlying factors associated with walking to public transportation. The physical activity benefits of public transportation varied along gender and socio-economic lines. Recommended minutes of daily physical activity can be achieved for public transportation users, especially train users living in affluent suburbs.
The aims of the study were to describe the stability of active commuting (AC) behavior (i.e., walking and cycling) over 27years and examine the relationship between AC and physical activity (PA) from youth to early midlife.
The mode and distance of travel were assessed using a self-reported questionnaire at five consecutive measurements between 1980 and 2007, when 2072 individuals were followed up from youth (9-18years) to adulthood (30-45years). PA was also measured using a questionnaire.
The prevalence of AC declined sharply with age, particularly after 12years, while AC distances to work or place of study increased substantially. AC was concurrently and prospectively associated with PA in both men and women. Maintained AC, whether walking or cycling and short or long distances, positively predicted adult PA over time. Compared with persistently passive commuters, persistently active commuters had higher adult PA after adjustment for potential covariates. Increasing AC was independently associated with high adult PA, particularly in young adulthood.
Walking and cycling to school/work should be encouraged, as regular AC is associated with higher levels of PA over 27years of follow-up, and thus, may contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle through the various stages of life-course.
Middle-aged women with active commuting had significantly lower risk for wrist fracture than women commuting by car/bus.
Our purpose was to investigate whether a physically active lifestyle in middle-aged women was associated with a reduced risk of later sustaining a low-trauma wrist fracture.
The Umeå Fracture and Osteoporosis (UFO) study is a population-based nested case-control study investigating associations between lifestyle and fragility fractures. From a cohort of ~35,000 subjects, we identified 376 female wrist fracture cases who had reported data regarding their commuting habits, occupational, and leisure physical activity, before they sustained their fracture. Each fracture case was compared with at least one control drawn from the same cohort and matched for age and week of reporting data, yielding a total of 778 subjects. Mean age at baseline was 54.3?±?5.8 years, and mean age at fracture was 60.3?±?5.8 years.
Conditional logistic regression analysis with adjustments for height, body mass index, smoking, and menopausal status showed that subjects with active commuting (especially walking) were at significantly lower risk of sustaining a wrist fracture (OR 0.48; 95 % CI 0.27-0.88) compared with those who commuted by car or bus. Leisure time activities such as dancing and snow shoveling were also associated with a lower fracture risk, whereas occupational activity, training, and leisure walking or cycling were unrelated to fracture risk.
This study suggests that active commuting is associated with a lower wrist fracture risk, in middle-aged women.
This study describes temporal and spatial trends in active transportation for school trips in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada's largest city-region.
Proportions of trips by travel mode to and from school were estimated and compared for children (11-13 years) and youth (14-15 years). Data were drawn from the 1986, 1996, 2001, and 2006 versions of the Transportation Tomorrow Survey (TTS).
Between 1986 and 2006, walking mode share for trips to school declined (53.0%-42.5% for 11-13 year olds, 38.6%-30.7% for 14-15 year olds). Although there has also been a decline in walking home from school, walking rates were higher in the afternoon. In 2006, younger children in the suburbs walked less to school (36.1%-42.3% of trips) than 11-13 year olds in Toronto (48.1%) and Toronto's 14-15 year olds walked less (38.3% of trips) but used transit more (44.8% of trips) than students in the suburbs.
The findings indicate a period of decline (1986-2006) in the use of active modes for journeys to and from school for both age groups. Policies and programs to increase active transportation should acknowledge the spatial, temporal, and demographic heterogeneity of school travel decisions and outcomes.
There has been a decline in children's use of active school transportation (AST) while there is also limited research concerning AST in winter conditions. This study aimed to explore the prerequisites and experiences of schoolchildren and parents participating in an empowerment- and gamification-inspired intervention to promote students' AST in winter conditions. Methods: Thirty-five students, who were aged 12?13 years, and 34 parents from the north of Sweden participated in the study. Data were collected using photovoice and open questions in a questionnaire and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: The results show that involvement and togetherness motivated the students to use AST. In addition, during the project, the parents changed to have more positive attitudes towards their children's use of AST. The students reported that using AST during wintertime is strenuous but rewarding and imparts a sense of pride. Conclusion: Interventions for increasing students' AST in winter conditions should focus on the motivational aspects for both children and parents. For overcoming parental hesitation with regards to AST during winter, addressing their concerns and empowering the students are key factors. To increase the use of AST all year around, targeting the challenges perceived during the winter is especially beneficial.
This study examines how active transportation could help increase the daily physical activity volume of school-aged children.
Using data from the 2003 Origin-Destination Survey carried out among 5% of the 3.5 million residents of the Greater Montreal Area, we determined the proportion of short motorized trips made daily by children 5-14 years old (16 837 children sampled) and estimated the number of steps these trips would account for if they were travelled by foot, taking into account variables such as age, sex and height of children. Modal choice and trip purpose were also examined.
In 2003, 31.2% of the daily trips made by children aged 5-14 years in the Greater Montreal Area were 1 km or less (0.6 mile). Of these, 33.0% were motorized trips. Overall, 13.1% of the children in the area had 'steps in reserve', an average of 2238 steps per child per day. If they were performed, these steps would account for 16.6% of the daily recommended volume of physical activity for children.
Replacing short motorized trips with walking could increase the physical activity level of children and contribute to meet the recommended guidelines, as long as these walking trips add to their daily physical activity volume. It could also reduce their dependence towards adults for moving around.
Active transportation to school provides a means for youth to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines, and this has obvious benefits for child health. Studies of active transportation have rarely focused on the negative health effects in terms of injury. This cross-sectional study is based on the 2009/10 Canadian Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children survey. A sample of children aged 11-15 years (n=20?076) was studied. Multi-level logistic regression was used to examine associations between walking or bicycling to school and related injury. Regular active transportation to school at larger distances (approximately >1.6 km; 1.0 miles) was associated with higher relative odds of active transportation injury (OR: 1.52; 95% CI 1.08 to 2.15), with a suggestion of a dose-response relationship between longer travel distances and injury (p=0.02). Physical activity interventions for youth should encourage participation in active transportation to school, while also recognising the potential for unintentional injury.
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OBJECTIVES: To examine the extent of international differences in children's exposure to traffic as pedestrians or bicyclists. DESIGN: Children's travel patterns were surveyed using a parent-child administered questionnaire. Children were sampled via primary schools, using a probability cluster sampling design. SETTING: Six cities in five countries: Melbourne and Perth (Australia), Montreal (Canada), Auckland (New Zealand), Umeå (Sweden), and Baltimore (USA). SUBJECTS: Children aged 6 and 9 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Modes of travel on the school-home journey, total daily time spent walking, and the average daily number of roads crossed. MAIN FINDINGS: Responses were obtained from the parents of 13423 children. There are distinct patterns of children's travel in the six cities studied. Children's travel in the three Australasian cities, Melbourne, Perth and Auckland, is characterised by high car use, low levels of bicycling, and a steep decline in walking with increasing car ownership. In these cities, over a third of the children sampled spent less than five minutes walking per day. In Montreal, walking and public transport were the most common modes of travel. In Umeå, walking and bicycling predominated, with very low use of motorised transport. In comparison with children in the Australasian and North American cities, children in Umeå spend more time walking, with 87% of children walking for more than five minutes per day. CONCLUSIONS: There are large international differences in the extent to which children walk and cycle. These findings would suggest that differences in 'exposure to risk' may be an important contributor to international differences in pedestrian injury rates. There are also substantial differences in pedestrian exposure to risk by levels of car ownership-differences that may explain socioeconomic differentials in pedestrian injury rates.
This study sought to determine the influence of individual factors on active transportation to school among Danish seventh graders and whether school district factors are associated with such behaviour independently of individual factors.
Mixed effects logistic regression models determined the effects of individual (gender, family affluence, enjoyment of school and academic performance) and school district factors (educational level, household savings, land use and size) on active transportation to school (by foot, bicycle or other active means) among 10 380 pupils aged 13-15 years nested in 407 school districts.
Of all students, 64.4% used active transportation to school daily. Boys, those with perceived higher school performance and those with lower family affluence were more likely to use active transportation to school. After adjustment for all individual factors listed above, high household savings at the school district level was associated with higher odds of active transportation to school. As factors of land use, low level of farming land use and high proportion of single houses were associated with active transportation to school.
Policies aiming at reducing social inequalities at the school district level may enhance active transportation to school. School districts with farming land use face barriers for active transportation to school, requiring special policy attention.
There is little published data on the potential health benefits of active travel in low and middle-income countries. This is despite increasing levels of adiposity being linked to increases in physical inactivity and non-communicable diseases. This study will examine: (1) socio-demographic correlates of using active travel (walking or cycling for transport) among older adults in six populous middle-income countries (2) whether use of active travel is associated with adiposity, systolic blood pressure and self-reported diabetes in these countries.
Data are from the WHO Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE) of China, India, Mexico, Ghana, Russia and South Africa with a total sample size of 40,477. Correlates of active travel (=150 min/week) were examined using logistic regression. Logistic and linear regression analyses were used to examine health related outcomes according to three groups of active travel use per week.
46.4% of the sample undertook =150 min of active travel per week (range South Africa: 21.9% Ghana: 57.8%). In pooled analyses those in wealthier households were less likely to meet this level of active travel (Adjusted Risk Ratio (ARR) 0.77, 95% Confidence Intervals 0.67; 0.88 wealthiest fifth vs. poorest). Older people and women were also less likely to use active travel for =150 min per week (ARR 0.71, 0.62; 0.80 those aged 70+ years vs. 18-29 years old, ARR 0.82, 0.74; 0.91 women vs. men). In pooled fully adjusted analyses, high use of active travel was associated with lower risk of overweight (ARR 0.71, 0.59; 0.86), high waist-to-hip ratio (ARR 0.71, 0.61; 0.84) and lower BMI (-0.54 kg/m(2), -0.98;- 0.11). Moderate (31-209 min/week) and high use (=210 min/week) of active travel was associated with lower waist circumference (-1.52 cm (-2.40; -0.65) and -2.16 cm (3.07; -1.26)), and lower systolic blood pressure (-1.63 mm/Hg (-3.19; -0.06) and -2.33 mm/Hg (-3.98; -0.69)).
In middle-income countries use of active travel for =150 min per week is more common in lower socio-economic groups and appears to confer similar health benefits to those identified in high-income settings. Efforts to increase active travel levels should be integral to strategies to maintain healthy weight and reduce disease burden in these settings.
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