A Cross-Sectional Examination of Socio-Demographic and School-Level Correlates of Children's School Travel Mode in Ottowa, Canada

In this study, children were nearly eight times more likely to participate in active transportation if both Safe Routes to School programs and traffic calming measures were present. The presence of crossing guards was also associated with increased likelihood of active transportation.

  • Children were more likely to engage in active transportation at schools with both Safe Routes to School programs and traffic calming (OR=7.87) or crossing guards (OR=2.29).
  • Boys were almost twice as likely to participate in active travel compared with girls (OR = 1.99).
  • Children with school travel time of <5 minutes or 5-15 minutes were more likely to walk or bike than those with school travel times of more than 15 minutes (OR= 2.26, OR=2.27).
  • Children were more likely to walk or bike at schools where school administrators perceived crime as a major/moderate problem compared to not a problem (OR = 3.34), but this data was collected from only 5 schools and researchers suggested school administrators were more concerned/aware of the surrounding environment at schools with higher walking/biking rates. Socioeconomic data on these schools was not provided, and household income was not significantly associated with active school transport.
  • This study used Canadian site data from the International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle, and the Environment (ISCOLE). Data was collected from school site audits, child questionnaires on school travel, parent questionnaires on household sociodemographics, and school administrator surveys of active travel policies and practices at 26 schools in Ottawa. 

Larouche, R., Chaput, J.P., Leduc, G., Boyer, C., Belanger, P., LeBlanc, A.G., Borghese, M.M., & Tremblay, M.S. (2014). A cross-sectional examination of socio-demographic and school-level correlates of children's school travel mode in Ottawa, Canada. BMC Public Health 14 (497). 

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