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Active commuting to school and association with physical activity and adiposity among US youth

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-05-01, 00:00 authored by J Mendoza, K Watson, N Nguyen, Ester Cerin, T Baranowski, T Nicklas
Background: Walking or bicycling to school (ie, active commuting) has shown promise for improving physical activity and preventing obesity in youth. Our objectives were to examine, among US youth, whether active commuting was inversely associated with adiposity and positively associated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). We also examined whether MVPA mediated the relationships between active commuting and adiposity.

Methods: Using data of participants aged 12 to 19 years from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003 to 2004 (n = 789 unweighted), we constructed multiple linear regression models that controlled for dietary energy intake and sociodemographics. The main exposure variable was active commuting. The outcomes were BMI z-score, waist circumference, skinfolds and objectively measured MVPA. The product-of-coefficients method was used to test for mediation.

Results: Active commuting was inversely associated with BMI z-score (β = –0.07, P = .046) and skinfolds (β = –0.06, P = .029), and positively associated with overall daily (β = 0.12, P = .024) and before- and after-school (β = 0.20, P < .001) MVPA. Greater before- and after-school MVPA explained part of the relationship between active commuting and waist circumference (Sobel z = –1.98, P = .048).

Conclusions: Active commuting was associated with greater MVPA and lower measures of adiposity among US youth. Before- and after-school MVPA mediated the relationships between active commuting and waist circumference.

History

Journal

Journal of physical activity and health

Volume

8

Issue

4

Pagination

488 - 495

Publisher

Human Kinetics

Location

Champaign, Ill.

ISSN

1543-3080

eISSN

1543-5474

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, Human Kinetics

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