2016 - Research

School Factors Associated With the Percentage of Students Who Walk or Bike to School, School Health Policies and Practices Study, 2014

Key takeaway:

  • A small percentage of students walk or bike to school, and several low- and no-cost strategies associated with higher participation in active transportation to school are not commonly used. Student demographics, school age, and geographic location are also associated with walking and biking participation.

Results:

  • In 61.5% of schools surveyed, 10% or fewer students walk or bike to school in the morning on the average school day, and 26% or more students walk or bike to school in 22.7% of schools.
  • Crossing guards, bicycle racks, and providing promotional materials to students or families on active transportation to school are associated with having 26% or higher active transportation participation. However, only 47.7% of schools had crossing guards, 62.4% had bicycle racks, and 33.3% provided promotional materials.
  • 25.8% of schools used hazard busing.
  • 76.3% of schools had speed limits of 25 mph or less during peak school travel times and 68.1% had reduced speed limits to streets next to or adjacent to school grounds during peak school travel times.
  • Schools in the West, Midwest, and Northeast were more likely to have active transportation participation of 26% or higher compared with schools in the South.
  • Having 26% or more students who walked or biked to school was significantly lower among schools with 33-65% free or reduced-price lunch eligibility compared with 66-100% eligibility.
  • Higher percentages of white students and older schools were associated with lower likelihood of 26% or more students walking or biking to school.

Methods:

  • This article summarizes results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s 2014 School Health Policies and Practices Study. 577 schools completed the survey module on active school transportation.

 

Everett Jones S, Sliwa S. (2016). School Factors Associated With the Percentage of Students Who Walk or Bike to School, School Health Policies and Practices Study, 2014. Preventing Chronic Disease 13:150573. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd13.150573

Authored by: 
Everett Jones S
Sliwa S.