Beyond Distance: Children's School Travel Mode Choice

Walking is promoted as being a healthy alternative to being driven to and from school. Attitudes and perceptions about the environment are discussed in this comprehensive study assessing modifiable elements and environmental features beyond the actual distance to school.

This study utilized 601 child pairs residing in the same location (but not of the same household) who used different travel modes to school: walking versus being driven in a car. Two rounds of parental surveys (based on the National Center for Safe Route to School survey) were carried out in 2007 and 2010. The mean distance was exactly the same between the “walker” category and the “driver” category at 0.491 miles.

Key Finding:

  • Environmental perceptifons regarding walkability, safety concerns, and parental attitudes and preferences differed between walkers and drivers.

Parents cited convenience of driving and traffic safety as major reasons for driving their children to school. While environmental improvements to the route may help, the finding here suggests that addressing attitudinal barriers may also be beneficial to shift the mode from driving to walking to school.

Introduction to the Active Living Research Supplement

  1. 1. Translating Research to Policy Through Health Impact Assessment in Clark County, Washington
  2. 2. Uneven Playing Field--Effective Strategies to Address Health Inequity Through Active Living Research
  3. 3. Using Evidence to Create Active Communities: Stories from the Field--Policy and Research with Chicago's Child Care Centers
  4. 4. Trends in Presentations of Environmental and Policy Studies Related to Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity at Society of Behavioral Medicine, 1995-2010
  5. 5. Spatial Disparities in the Distribution of Parks and Green Spaces in the USA
  6. 6. Exploring the Distribution of Park Availability, Features, and Quality Across Kansas City, Missouri by Income and Race/Ethnicity
  7. 7. Perceptions of Neighborhood Park Quality
  8. 8. Gender Differences in Self-Report Physical Activity and Park and Recreation Facility Use Among Latinos in Wake County, North Carolina
  9. 9. Beyond Distance: Children's School Travel Mode Choice
  10. 10. The Perceived and Built Environment Surrounding Urban Schools and Physical Activity Among Adolescent Girls
  11. 11. Aesthetic Amenities and Safety Hazards Associated with Walking and Bicycling for Transportation in New York City
  12. 12. Does Neighbourhood Walkability Moderate the Effects of Mass Media Communication Strategies to Promote Regular Physical Activity?
  13. 13. Individual-and Area-Level Disparities in Access to the Road Network, Subway System and a Public Bicycle Share Program on the Island of Montreal, Canada
  14. 14. Effect of Bike Lane Infrastructure Improvements on Ridership in One New Orleans Neighborhood
  15. 15. Using Google Street View to Audit the Built Environment
  16. 16. School Sport Participation Under Two School Sport Policies
  17. 17. Physical Education and Student Activity
  18. 18. District and School Physical Education Policies
  19. 19. Predictors of Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) in African American Young Adolescents
  20. 20. Pathways to Outdoor Recreation, Physical Activity, and Delinquency Among Urban Latino Adolescents
  21. 21. Locations of Joint Physical Activity in Parent-Child Pairs Based on Accelerometer and GPS Monitoring

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