Assessing the Influence of the Transition from Primary to Secondary School on the Volume of Active School Transport and Physical Activity: A Prospective Pilot-Study
|Richard Larouche1,2*, Guy EJ Faulkner3 and Mark S Tremblay1,2,4|
|1Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada|
|2School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada|
|3Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada|
|4Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada|
|Corresponding Author :||Richard Larouche
Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
401 Smyth road, Room R242 Ottawa, ON, Canada
Tel: 1-613-737-7600, ext 4191
E-mail: [email protected]
|Received March 27, 2013; Accepted March 28, 2013; Published April 10, 2013|
|Citation: Larouche R, Faulkner GEJ, Tremblay MS (2013) Assessing the Influence of the Transition from Primary to Secondary School on the Volume of Active School Transport and Physical Activity: A Prospective Pilot-Study. Bioenergetics 2:105. doi:10.4172/2167-7662.1000105|
|Copyright: © 2013 Larouche R, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.|
Objectives: Active school transport (AST, e.g. the use of non-motorized travel modes such as walking and cycling to travel to/from school) is increasingly promoted as a source of physical activity (PA) in children and youth. This prospective pilot-study assessed the: 1) test-retest reliability of a novel measure of the volume of AST; 2) changes in AST and pedometer-determined PA across the transition from primary to secondary school; and 3) associations between AST and PA at both time points.
Methods: 55 grade 6 students were recruited from 4 primary schools in Ottawa (Canada) in May/June, 2012. They were asked to complete a diary indicating their mode of transport to/from school for 1 week, and wear a SC-StepMX pedometer for 8 consecutive days. 48 study packages were returned at baseline and 29 at follow-up (September/
October 2012). For the test-retest assessment, a separate sample of 22 participants completed the diary during 2 consecutive weeks.
Results: The weekly volume of AST (e.g. number of active trips X distance) showed high test-retest reliability
(ICC=0.87). There were significant decreases in the proportion of children categorized as active travelers (57% to 46%), and in step counts (16,578 ± 3,758 to 14,071 ± 3,680 steps/day) across the school transition. However, in participants reporting at least 1 active trip at both time points (n=11), the volume of AST increased with a moderate effect size (d=0.52), but this change was not statistically significant. While no dose-response association between the volume of AST and PA was evident (probably due to limited statistical power), a gender-adjusted ANOVA indicated that active travelers accumulated an additional 2,207 steps/day at follow-up.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that future research is needed to quantify changes in AST across the school transition, and to determine if AST can attenuate the commonly-observed decline in PA levels from childhood to adolescence.