Is a change to active travel to school an important source of physical activity for Chinese children?

Wendy Y. Huang, Stephen H. Wong*, Gang He

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)
    52 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    This study investigated the association between a change in travel mode to school and one-year changes in physical activity (PA) among children in Hong Kong. Data from 677 children aged 7-10 years (56% boys) who participated in the Understanding Children's Activity and Nutrition (UCAN) study were analyzed. During the 2010/11 and 2011/12 school years, the children wore an accelerometer for a week and their parents completed a questionnaire about the children's modes of travel to school and nonschool destinations. Associations between a change in the mode of travel to school and changes in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) were determined using linear mixed models, adjusting for covariates. Compared with children who consistently used passive travel modes, a change from passive to active travel to school was positively associated with changes in the percentage of time spent in MVPA (b = 1.32, 95% CI = 0.63, 2.02) and MVPA min/day (b = 10.97, 95% CI = 5.26, 16.68) on weekdays. Similar results were found for weekly MVPA. Promoting active travel to school may help to combat age-related decline in PA for some Chinese children. However, maintaining active travel to school may not be sufficient to halt the decreasing trend in MVPA with age.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-168
    Number of pages8
    JournalPediatric Exercise Science
    Volume29
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
    • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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