Physical Activity for Secondary School Students Walking to/from School

Walk Home
Image courtesy of Sarah Young on Flickr

A recent report completed by the Center for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Bristol in Bristol, England, measured the patterns, locations, and physical activity levels of teenage students in order to quantify the physical activity levels on the walk to/from school for the students in relation to their overall daily exercise levels. The 2008-2009 study collected data within the PEACH (Personal and Environmental Associations with Children’s Health) project in order to measure the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels within the student population.

The report concludes that the journey to/from school for secondary school students is a major contributor to their daily physical activity levels, particularly for girls. MVPA increases proportionately with the distance to school as does the percentage of daily activity for which these treks account. The study highlights the importance of supporting active transportation policies in communities as well as promotes combining GPS and accelerometer data within a GIS data set in order to quantify information of this type.

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