Travel by walking before and after school and physical activity among adolescent girls

Brit I. Saksvig, Diane J. Catellier, Karin Pfeiffer, Kathryn H. Schmitz, Terry Conway, Scott Going, Dianne Ward, Patty Strikmiller, Margarita S. Treuth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine how "travel by walking" before and after school contributes to total physical activity of adolescent girls. Design: Cross-sectional sample. Setting: Thirty-six middle schools from Arizona, Maryland, Minnesota, Louisiana, California, and South Carolina participating in the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG). Participants: Seventeen hundred twenty-one sixth-grade girls consented to participate; adequate information was available for 1596 participants (93%). Main Exposure: Travel by walking before school, after school, and before and after school combined assessed from the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall. Main Outcome Measure: Mean minutes of physical activity measured by accelerometry were estimated for total physical activity (light, moderate, vigorous), moderate to vigorous activity (MVPA), and MVPA of 3 metabolic equivalents. Results: Travel by walking was reported by 14% of participants before school and 18% after school. Girls who reported travel by walking before and after school (combined) had 13.7 more minutes (95% confidence interval, 1.2-26.3) of total physical activity and 4.7 more minutes (95% confidence interval, 2.2-7.2) of MVPA than girls who did not report this activity. Before-school and after-school walkers (but not both) accumulated 2.5 more minutes (95% confidence interval, 0.10-4.9) and 2.2 more minutes (95% confidence interval, 0.24-4.2) of MVPA on an average weekday, respectively, than nonwalkers. Conclusion: Our results provide evidence that walking to and from school increases weekday minutes of total physical activity and MVPA for middle-school girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-158
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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