Research and Publications

New encyclopedia entry on children’s active school travel, by UQ|UP team

This article reviews the available literature on children’s active school travel (walking and cycling) around the world. Rates of active travel to school vary substantially by setting but, cycling is much less popular than walking nearly everywhere. Active school travel is more consistently associated with (1) socio-economic and demographic variables including lower socio-economic background of child; male gender of child; older age of child; conducive caretakers’ schedules; and fewer or no cars in the household; (2) environmental variables including short home-school distances; urban character of residential and school neighborhood; and supportive built environment features (e.g., availability of sidewalks, parks, direct routes); and (3) psychological variables including lower parental safety and/or security concerns; supportive parental attitudes; and less auto-dependency in the family. These findings are subject to the caveat that the available studies differ considerably in their methodology. This article concludes with a list of the most popular programs which have been adopted around the world to enable and encourage more children and youth to walk and/or cycle to school.

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