Contribution of walking to school to individual and population moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Anne Martin, Jessica Boyle, Fenella Corlett, Paul Kelly, John Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose:
This study estimated the contribution of walking to/from school to 1 objectively measured daily moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) in 2 individuals and populations.

Methods:
MEDLINE, PsycINFO and SPORTDiscus 3 were systematically searched up to February 2015. Two reviewers independently 4 screened titles/abstracts/full-text articles, and assessed study quality. Results. Of 5 2430 records, 116 were eligible for full-text screening. Twelve studies met the 6 inclusion criteria of reporting objectively obtained measures of MVPA (total and 7 while walking to/from school) in children and adolescents. The weighted mean 8 MVPA accumulated in walking to and from school was 17 minutes per day in primary 9 school pupils (9 samples, n=3422) and 13 minutes per day in high school pupils (4 10 samples, n=2600). Pooled analysis suggested that walking to and from school 11 contributed 23% and 36% of MVPA on schooldays in primary school age children 12 and high school pupils, respectively. All included studies were of high 13 methodological quality.

Conclusions:
Walking to and from school makes a 14 meaningful contribution to individual schoolday MVPA for active commuters in 15 western countries. Since schooldays represent only around half of all days, and 16 prevalence of walking to school is low in many countries, the contribution of walking 17 to school to population MVPA is probably low.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28
Pages (from-to)353 -363
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Exercise Science
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Keywords

  • active commuting
  • walking
  • physical activity
  • accelerometer
  • child
  • adolescent
  • youth
  • systematic review

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