2016 - Research

Active transportation to support diabetes prevention: Expanding school health promotion programming in an Indigenous community

Key takeaway:

  • This study documents the implementation of Active & Safe Routes to School (ASRTS) in an indigenous community in Canada.

Results:

  • 19.4% of parents at one school and 52.8% at the second school were likely or very likely to allow their students to participate in a walking program like a walking school bus, and parents had varied preferences for timing before or after school, walking bus pick-up points, and routes to after-school programs.
  • Of students surveyed at both schools in fifth and sixth grades, 63.8-77.8% had never walked to school and 72.2-77.6% had never biked to school. However, of these survey participants 35.5-46.6% indicated they would like to walk to school and 39.5-57.7% would like to bike to school.
  • After collecting baseline data, planning committees at each school used this information to identify overarching goals for their active transportation programs, including reducing traffic congestion, increasing pedestrian safety, and increasing participation in walking and biking to school. Actions/initiatives to meet these goals included development of routes-to-school maps, portable stop signs to reduce rolling stops at certain road locations, implementation of a walking school bus program, availability of a crossing guard, and parent and child education. The schools also held student artwork contests for logos to brand active transportation events.

Methods:

  • This community-based participatory research (CBPR) study applied the Active & Safe Routes to School’s (ASRTS) School Travel Planning (STP) process in two elementary schools in Kahnawake, an indigenous community in Quebec, Canada. Data was collected through school profile forms, family surveys, in-class travel surveys, pedestrian observations, walkability checklists, and student mapping.

 

Macridis, S., Bengoechea, E.G., McComber, A.M., Jacobs, J., Macauley, A.C., Members of the Kahnaawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project-School Travel Planning Committee. (2016). Active transportation to support diabetes prevention: Expanding school health promotion programming in an Indigenous community. Evaluation and Program Planning 2016, 99-108.

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