2010 - Research

Neighborhood, route, and school environments and children’s active commuting

This study aims to assess whether objectively measured characteristics of the neighborhood, route, and school environments are associated with active commuting to school among children, and it explores whether distance acts as a moderator in this association.

  • A cross-sectional study was conducted of 2012 children (899 boys and 1113 girls) aged 9-10 years attending 92 schools in the county of Norfolk, United Kingdom.
  • Children who lived in a more deprived area and whose route to school was direct were less likely to walk or cycle to school, whereas those who had a higher density of roads in their neighborhood were more likely to walk.
  • Children whose routes had a high density of streetlights were less likely to cycle to school.
  • Objectively measured neighborhood and route factors are associated with walking and cycling to school.
  • Distance did not moderate the associations found in this study.
  • Creating safe environments by improving urban design may influence children’s commuting behavior.

Panter JR, Jones AP, Van Sluijs EM, and Griffin SJ. “Neighborhood, Route, and School Environments and Children’s Active Commuting.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 38.3 (2010): 268-78.