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Walking school buses as a form of active transportation for children : A review of the evidence

Smith, L, Norgate, SH, Cherrett, T, Davies, N, Wistanley, C and Harding, M 2015, 'Walking school buses as a form of active transportation for children : A review of the evidence' , Journal of School Health, 85 (3) , pp. 197-210.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Walking School Buses (WSBs) offer a potentially healthier way for children to get to school whilst reducing traffic congestion. A number of pressing societal challenges make it timely to evaluate evidence of their value. METHODS: Studies that focused solely on WSBs were identified through online and manual literature searches. Twelve WSB studies involving a total of 9173 children were reviewed. Study aims, designs, methods, outcomes, and barriers and facilitators were examined. RESULTS: WSBs were found to be associated with increased prevalence of walking to school and general activity levels though not always significantly. Time constraints emerged as barriers to WSBs, impacting on recruitment of volunteers and children to the WSBs. Facilitators of WSBs included children enjoying socializing and interacting with the environment. CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary evidence of the health value of WSBs was demonstrated, along with recommendations for the design of future studies. By tackling barriers of time constraints, volunteer recruitment and parents’ safety concerns whilst at the same time, increasing convenience and time savings for families, future WSBs are likely to be more sustainable and taken up by more schools. Implications for future innovation in school health were identified.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of School Health
Publisher: Wiley
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0022-4391
Related URLs:
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Depositing User: S Rafiq
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2014 17:02
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2015 12:14
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/33073

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