Deakin University
alston-associationbetween-2021.pdf (1.16 MB)

Association between the school physical activity environment, measured and self-reported student physical activity and active transport behaviours in Victoria, Australia

Download (1.16 MB)
Version 2 2024-06-19, 03:53
Version 1 2021-06-25, 08:34
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-19, 03:53 authored by N Crooks, Laura AlstonLaura Alston, Melanie NicholsMelanie Nichols, Kristy BoltonKristy Bolton, Steven AllenderSteven Allender, Penny FraserPenny Fraser, Ha LeHa Le, J Bliss, C Rennie, Liliana OrellanaLiliana Orellana, Claudia StrugnellClaudia Strugnell
Abstract Background Environments within schools including the physical, social-cultural and policy/practice environments have the potential to influence children’s physical activity (PA) behaviours and weight status. This Australian first study comprehensively examined the association(s) of physical, social-cultural and policy/practice environments with PA, active transport (AT) and weight status among regional primary school children. Methods Data were from two childhood obesity monitoring systems in regional Victoria, Australia. Measured height and weight were collected from students in Year 2 (aged approx. 7–8 years), Year 4 (9–10 years), and Year 6 (11–12 years). Self–reported PA behaviour, including AT were collected from students in Year 4 and 6 and a sub-sample wore an ActiGraph (wGT3X-BT) accelerometer for 7-days. A school physical activity environment audit was completed by the school principal and responses were used to calculate school physical activity environment scores (PAES) and active transport environment scores (ATES). Mixed effects logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between the proportion of students meeting the PA guidelines (≥60mins/day of moderate-to-vigorous PA) and PAES tertiles (low, medium, high) and those using AT and school ATES tertiles, controlling for gender, school size/type and socioeconomic composition. Results The analysed sample included 54/146 (37%) schools and 3360/5376 (64%) students. In stratified analysis, girls in schools with a medium PAES score were more likely to meet the objectively measured PA guideline compared to low PAES score (OR 2.3, 95%CI 1.27, 4.16). Similarly, students in schools with a medium or high ATES score had higher odds of self-reported AT (medium OR 3.15, 95%CI 1.67, 5.94; high OR 3.71, 95%CI: 1.80, 7.64). No association between PAES or ATES and weight status were observed. Self-reported AT among boys (OR 1.59, 95%CI 1.19, 2.13) and girls (OR 1.56, 95%CI 1.08, 2.27) was associated with higher odds of meeting self-reported PA guidelines on all 7-days than those who did not report using AT. Conclusions In this study of regional Victorian primary schools, PA environments were only associated with girls’ adherence to PA guidelines. School AT environments were strongly associated with students’ AT behaviours and with increased likelihood of students being physically active.



International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity



Article number



1 - 12



Open access

  • Yes







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal