The purpose of this study was to identify the independent association of frequency of walking trips between home and school with daily physical activity in a sample of school-aged children.
Participants were 109 children (mean age = 12.05 years [±0.71]) attending nine primary schools in Adelaide, South Australia. Physical activity was derived from accelerometers with total counts as the outcome variable. Transport patterns were self-reported for each of the previous five school days. Walking trips were summed for each day and across the school week. The relationship between the number of active transport journeys and individual school day and school week physical activity was modelled separately in boys and girls using multiple linear regression.
Frequency of walking was positively associated with school day and school week accelerometer counts in boys, accounting for 6% and 12% of the explained variance in total counts, respectively. There were no significant associations among girls.
Despite sex-specific differences in associations between active transport to school and total physical activity, active transport is likely to have important ancillary benefits for development of independence and physical activity habits, and should continue to be promoted.