Dr. Richard Larouche and Dr. Mark Tremblay are authors on a paper, “Active Transportation and Adolescents’ Health: The Canadian Health Measures Survey,” that was recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Citation details and a summary of the paper are below.
Larouche R, Faulkner GEJ, Fortier M, Tremblay MS. Active Transportation and Adolescents’ Health: The Canadian Health Measures Survey. Am J Prev Med 2014;46(5):507-515.
ABSTRACT: Background. Active transportation (AT; e.g., walking and cycling) is increasingly promoted to increase youth physical activity (PA). Most previous research focused solely on school trips, and associations among AT and cardiovascular risk factors have seldom been examined in adolescents. Purpose. To address these important research gaps using data from the nationally representative 2007–2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Methods. A total of 1,016 adolescents aged 12–19 years reported their weekly time spent utilitarian walking and cycling, and wore an Actical accelerometer for 7 days. They underwent a series of physical tests (measures of fitness, body composition, blood pressure, and blood sampling) following standardized protocols. In 2013, differences in PA and health-related outcomes across levels of walking and cycling were assessed with ANCOVA analyses adjusted for age, gender, parental education, and usual daily PA. Results. Greater walking and cycling time was associated with higher moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Compared to adolescents reporting walking 1–5 hours/week, those reporting o1 hour/week had lower waist circumference and total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ratio and higher glycohemoglobin; those reporting 45 hours/week had better grip strength, lower total cholesterol, and total cholesterol/HDL ratio. Compared to adolescents reporting no cycling, those reporting Z1 hour/week accumulated more light PA, had greater aerobic fitness, and lower BMI, waist circumference, and total cholesterol/HDL ratio; those who reported cycling o1 hour/week had lower total cholesterol. Conclusions. Utilitarian walking and cycling were associated with higher daily MVPA in youth. Cycling was associated with a more consistent pattern of health benefits than walking.