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Active travelling to school is not associated with increased total daily physical activity levels, or reduced obesity and cardiovascular/pulmonary health parameters in 10–12-year olds: a cross-sectional cohort study

Published on May 4, 2020in International Journal of Obesity4.514
· DOI :10.1038/S41366-020-0571-1
Xueying Zhang5
Estimated H-index: 5
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Nathan A. Smith1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Aberd.: University of Aberdeen)
+ 25 AuthorsDebbie Green1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Aberd.: University of Aberdeen)
Abstract
Childhood obesity has increased enormously. Several lifestyle factors have been implicated, including decreased physical activity, partially involving a decline in active travel to school. We aimed to establish the association between school transport mode and physical activity levels of primary 6 and 7 children (aged 10–12). Secondary outcomes were body mass index standard deviation scores, blood pressure levels and lung function. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a total number of 432 children from three primary schools in North East Scotland. Actigraph accelerometers were used to provide objective measures of physical activity. Ninety-two children in primary 6 and 90 children in primary 7 (40 in common) had adequate data. Modes of transport to school were assessed by a questionnaire. Two hundred and seventeen children in primary 6 and one hundred and sixty-five in primary 7 returned adequate questionnaires. Children who used active transport modes for >70% of their journeys to school over the week were coded as active travellers and <30% were coded as passive travellers. All children also had height, weight, blood pressure levels and lung function measured. Children who lived further away from school, and in more expensive properties were more likely to travel passively to school. Actively commuting children (70% walking) had significantly higher activity levels than passive commuters during the 30 min that encompassed their journey to and from school. However, there were no significant differences between active and passive school travellers in total daily physical activity, BMI SDS, and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and lung function. There was no evidence that more days of active travel to school had a significant influence on total physical activity, obesity and related health parameters. Public health interventions promoting active travel to school may have limited success in quelling the childhood obesity epidemic.
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References41
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Last. Sigmund A. Anderssen (Norwegian School of Sport Sciences)H-Index: 52
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Background A recent review concludes that the agreement of data across ActiGraph accelerometer models for children and youth still is uncertain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the agreement of three generations of ActiGraph accelerometers in children in a free-living condition.
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Summary Background In 2010, overweight and obesity were estimated to cause 3·4 million deaths, 3·9% of years of life lost, and 3·8% of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) worldwide. The rise in obesity has led to widespread calls for regular monitoring of changes in overweight and obesity prevalence in all populations. Comparable, up-to-date information about levels and trends is essential to quantify population health effects and to prompt decision makers to prioritise action. We estimate th...
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Contract grant sponsor: Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia; Contract grant number: FCOMP-01–0124-FEDER-007483.
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Background Active commuting to/from school is an important source of physical activity that has been declining over the past years. Although it is an affordable and simple way of increasing physical activity levels it is still unclear whether it has enough potential to improve health. Therefore, the aim of this cross sectional study was to examine the relationship between active commuting to/from school and metabolic risk factors in 10 to 12 year old children.
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Sparse data exist on the combined associations between physical activity and sedentary time with cardiometabolic risk factors in healthy children.
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