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The Association Between the Physical Environment of Primary Schools and Active School Transport

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Author: Kann, D.H.H. van · Kremers, S.P.J. · Gubbels, J.S. · Bartelink, N.H.M. · Vries, S.I. de · Vries, N.K. de · Jansen, M.W.J.
Source:Environment and Behavior, 4, 47, 418-435
Identifier: 524750
doi: doi:10.1177/0013916513519644
Keywords: Health · Active school transport · Aesthetics · Physical environment · Primary school · Safety · Child care · Environmental factor · Esthetics · Greenspace · Primary education · Transportation safety · Netherlands · Healthy for Life · Healthy Living · Life · LS - Life Style · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


This study examined the relationship between the physical environment characteristics of primary schools and active school transport among 3,438 5- to 12-year-old primary school children in the Netherlands. The environmental characteristics were categorized into four theory-based clusters (function, safety, aesthetics, and destination). The correlations between the clusters and active school transport were examined, and multilevel regression analyses were used to examine the association between the clusters and active school transport. No correlations were found between environmental clusters and active school transport for younger children (age 5-9), but for older children (age 9-12), strong positive correlations were found between aesthetics and active transport as were found for safety and active transport. School neighborhood aesthetics were related to active transport for older primary school children. Presence of parks, good maintenance of green spaces, and absence of litter in the school environment contributed most to the positive association between aesthetics and active school transport. © 2014 SAGE Publications