The effect of a school-based active commuting intervention on children's commuting physical activity and daily physical activity

Prev Med. 2012 May;54(5):316-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.02.013. Epub 2012 Mar 3.


Objective: To investigate the effect of a school-based intervention called Travelling Green (TG) on children's walking to and from school and total daily physical activity.

Method: A quasi-experiment with 166 Scottish children (8-9 years) was conducted in 2009. One group (n=79) received TG and another group (n=87) acted as a comparison. The intervention lasted 6 weeks and consisted of educational lessons and goal-setting tasks. Steps and MVPA (daily, a.m. commute, p.m. commute, and total commute) were measured for 5 days pre- and post-intervention using accelerometers.

Results: Mean steps (daily, a.m., p.m., and total commute) decreased from pre- to post-intervention in both groups (TG by 901, 49, 222, and 271 steps/day and comparison by 2528, 205, 120, and 325 steps/day, respectively). No significant group by time interactions were found for a.m., p.m., and total commuting steps. A medium (partial eta squared=0.09) and significant (p<0.05) group by time interaction was found for total daily steps. MVPA results were similar to step results.

Conclusions: TG has a little effect on walking to and from school. However, for total daily steps and daily MVPA, TG results in a smaller seasonal decrease than for children who do not receive the intervention.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy / methods
  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Child
  • Documentation
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Program Evaluation
  • School Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Scotland
  • Sports / physiology
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Swimming / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Transportation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Walking* / physiology
  • Walking* / psychology
  • Walking* / statistics & numerical data