Active commuting to school among 36,781 Spanish children and adolescents: A temporal trend study

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2021 Apr;31(4):914-924. doi: 10.1111/sms.13917. Epub 2021 Jan 29.


This study examines trends in the rates of active commuting to school (ACS) in Spanish children (n = 18 343; 8.93 ± 1.68) and adolescents (n = 18 438; 14.11 ± 1.58) aged 6-18 years from 2010 to 2017. Given the study period included the economic crisis in Spain (2008-2013), the second aim of this study was to compare ACS rates during and after the economic crisis. Data were obtained from 28 studies conducted across Spain. The overall trends in ACS were evaluated using multilevel logistic regression analysis. Among Spanish children and adolescents, the rates of ACS to school ranged around 60% between 2010 and 2017. The rates of ACS in Spanish youth did not change significantly during the 2010-2017 period, except a sporadic increase in the rate of ACS in adolescents in 2012-2013. No significant association between the ACS and the economic crisis time period in youth was found. As conclusion, the ACS remains stable in Spain during the last decade, which is a promising result regarding the evidenced decreasing trend in many countries. Further educational and policy strategies are important to continue promoting this behavior in children and adolescents in the long term.

Keywords: active transport; cycling; school; trends; walking; youth.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bicycling*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Schools*
  • Spain
  • Transportation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Walking*