BACKGROUND: Active transportation to school (ATS) is a component of a whole school approach to health promotion among youth. METHODS: Individual- and school-level predictors of ATS were examined using data from parent surveys (N = 11,100) of students in grades 3-8 attending 112 schools in Arizona (United States) administering Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs between 2007 and 2018. Multilevel logistic models were estimated to predict the likelihood of students using active (walking or biking) versus inactive travel (riding bus or car) to and from school, and across distance and school-level income categories. RESULTS: Student grade, parent education, asking permission to use ATS, perceived health and school support for ATS, distance, and school income were predictive of ATS. The impact of demographic factors persisted across distances of ½ mile or less and at low- and medium-income schools but diminished as distance and income increased. Asking permission and perceived school support persisted across levels of distance and income, while perceiving ATS as healthy was significant only for distances under 1 mile. CONCLUSIONS: SRTS programs should continue promoting health benefits and school support for ATS. SRTS may be particularly effective at low- and medium-income schools and among families living within ½ mile distances.
- active transportation to school
- safe routes to school
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health