Active travel to school and physical activity levels of Irish primary school children

Elaine Murtagh, Marie Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to (1) determine the physical activity levels of 9–11year old children, and (2) compare the activity levels of children who commuteto school by active and passive modes. 140 children aged 9–11 years (85 boys)were recruited from four urban Irish schools. Mode of commuting was assessedby questionnaire. Step counts were measured for 4 consecutive days. Mean dailystep counts for the sample were 14386 ± 5634. Boys were significantly more activethan girls (15857 ± 5482 vs. 12113 ± 5127 steps). Eighty-seven children (62.1%)traveled by car, 51 children (36.4%) walked to school, one child traveled by busand one child cycled. Children who walked or cycled to school had higher dailystep counts than those who traveled by passive modes (16118 ± 5757 vs. 13363± 5332 steps). Active commuting to school may therefore represent a worthwhilestrategy for improving children’s physical activity levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-236
JournalPediatric Exercise Science
Volume23
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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