A Systematic Review of Interventions for Promoting Active Transportation to School

Active transportation to school is an important contributor to the total physical activity of children and adolescents. However, active school travel has declined over time, and interventions are needed to reverse this trend. The purpose of this paper is to review intervention studies related to active school transportation.

  • A systematic review was conducted to identify intervention studies of active transportation to school published in the scientific literature through January 2010. Five electronic databases and a manual search were conducted. Detailed information was extracted, including a quantitative assessment comparing the effect sizes, and a qualitative assessment using an established evaluation tool.
  • The authors identified 14 interventions that focused on active transportation to school. These interventions mainly focused on primary school children in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Almost all the interventions used quasi-experimental designs (10/14), and most of the interventions reported a small effect size on active transportation (6/14).
  • Study findings: (1) Existing interventions to promote active transportation to and from school are heterogeneous, due to the size, scope, and focus of the intervention and measurements. (2) Interventions with appropriate school, parent, and community involvement and that work toward a specific goal (i.e., increasing active transportation) seemed to be more effective than interventions that were broader in focus. (3) Intervention quality was often low as measured by the EPHPP tool. (4) Interventions evidenced a small but promising effectiveness in increasing active transportation to school. 

Chillon P., Evenson, K.R., Vaughnm A., Ward, D.S. (2011). A Systematic Review of interventions for Promoting Active Transportation to School. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 8:10.

filed under