Associations among individual, social, and environmental barriers and children's walking or cycling to school

Am J Health Promot. 2007 Nov-Dec;22(2):107-13. doi: 10.4278/0890-1171-22.2.107.

Abstract

Purpose: To examine associations among individual, social, and environmental barriers and children's walking or cycling to school.

Design: Exploratory cross-sectional study.

Setting: All eight capital cities in Australia. SUBJECTS. Parents (N=720) of school-aged children (4-13 years; 27% response rate; 49% parents of boys).

Measures: Multivariate-adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for parental reporting of barriers to their children's walking or cycling to school, based on a computer-assisted telephone interview.

Results: Forty-one percent of children walked or cycled to school at least once per week. Multivariable analyses found inverse associations with individual ("child prefers to be driven" [OR = 0.4, 95% CI = 0.3-0.6], "no time in the mornings" [OR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.3-0.8]); social ("worry child will take risks" [OR = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.3-0.9], "no other children to walk with" [OR = 0.7, 95% CI = 0.4-0.99], "no adults to walk with" [OR = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.4-0.9]); and environmental barriers ("too far to walk" [OR = 0.1, 95% CI = 0.0-0.1], "no direct route" [OR = 0.4, 95% CI = 0.2-0.7]) and positive associations with "concern child may be injured in a road accident" (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.1-3.1) and active commuting.

Conclusion: Working with parents, schools, and local authorities to improve pedestrian skills and environments may help to overcome barriers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Australia
  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • Bicycling / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Pilot Projects
  • Schools*
  • Social Environment*
  • Transportation*
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Walking / psychology