2015 - Research

Youth Walking and Biking Rates Vary by Environments Around 5 Louisiana Schools

Biking and walking to school may vary by factors like distance to school, speed of traffic, school encouragement, and children asking permission.

RESULTS:

  • Students were 2.6 times as likely to walk or bike to school if these modes were promoted by the school.
  • Students who lived within 0.5 miles of the school were 16.7 times as likely to walk or bike to school than those living further away.
  • Lower travel times were associated with higher percentages of walking and biking to school; 23.8% of children biked or walked who were less than 5 minutes away, while only 2.2% of children more than 20 minutes utilized active modes.
  • More children in kindergarten through fifth grade walked or biked to school than children in sixth through eighth grade.
  • Students who asked permission from their parents to walk or bike to school in the past year were seven times as likely to be using active transportation modes.
  • Children whose parents reported recognizing most people on the block were 1.6 times as likely to walk or bike to school compared to children whose parents did not recognize most people.
  • ·         Children of parents who reported speed of traffic as a significant factor affecting their decision to allow children to walk/bike to school were 58% less likely to walk/bike to school than parents who did not identify speed as a significant factor.

METHODS:

  • This study conducted a baseline assessment of 5 SRTS-awarded schools from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade in communities with similar median incomes in Louisiana. Data was collected using parent surveys, teacher tallies, and the Pedestrian Environmental Data Scan (PEDS).

Gustat, J., Richards, K., Rice, J., Andersen, L., Parker-Karst, K., Cole, S. (2015). Youth Walking and Biking Rates Vary by Environments Around 5 Louisiana Schools. Journal of School Health, 85 (1), 36-42.

Authored by: 
Gustat J.
Richards K.
Rice J.
Andersen L.
Parker-Karst K.
Cole S.