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Active transportation and adolescents' health: The Canadian Health Measures Survey

TitleActive transportation and adolescents' health: The Canadian Health Measures Survey
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLarouche, R., Faulkner G. E. J., Fortier M., and Tremblay M. S.
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Pages507 - 515

Background Active transportation (AT; e.g., walking and cycling) is increasingly promoted to increase youth physical activity (PA). Most previous research focused solely on school trips, and associations among AT and cardiovascular risk factors have seldom been examined in adolescents. Purpose To address these important research gaps using data from the nationally representative 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Methods A total of 1,016 adolescents aged 12-19 years reported their weekly time spent utilitarian walking and cycling, and wore an Actical accelerometer for 7 days. They underwent a series of physical tests (measures of fitness, body composition, blood pressure, and blood sampling) following standardized protocols. In 2013, differences in PA and health-related outcomes across levels of walking and cycling were assessed with ANCOVA analyses adjusted for age, gender, parental education, and usual daily PA. Results Greater walking and cycling time was associated with higher moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Compared to adolescents reporting walking 1-5 hours/week, those reporting 5 hours/week had better grip strength, lower total cholesterol, and total cholesterol/HDL ratio. Compared to adolescents reporting no cycling, those reporting =1 hour/week accumulated more light PA, had greater aerobic fitness, and lower BMI, waist circumference, and total cholesterol/HDL ratio; those who reported cycling

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