Congratulations to Dr. Mark Tremblay and colleagues on their new publication “Children’s independent mobility, school travel and the surrounding neighborhood” recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine! A summary and citation are provided below.


Introduction: Children’s active travel to and from school (AST) and children’s independent mobility (CIM) are consistently positively associated with physical activity (PA); however, few researchers have investigated associations between objective measures of the environment and indicators of AST and CIM in national samples.

Methods: A national sample of 2,067 Canadian parents of 7- to 12-year-old children was recruited in December 2020. Regression analyses were used in 2023 to assess the association between geographic information system measures of park density, blue space, population density, greenspace, intersection density, and CIM and AST to and from school.

Results: Children in areas with high versus low park density (>0.025 vs. ≤0.025) had higher odds of travel to school via active modes (OR: 1.47 [1.14, 1.91], p=0.003). Children in neighborhoods in the highest quartile for neighborhood greenspace (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) were more likely to travel to home actively than those in areas of lower greenspace (OR: 1.70 [1.18, 2.45], p=0.004). On average, children living in areas in the highest versus the lowest quartile for intersection density were more likely to engage in AST to (OR: 2.43 [1.58, 3.75], p<0.001) and from (OR: 2.77 [1.80, 4.29], p<0.001) school.

Conclusions: The observed associations underscore a need for city planners and policymakers to ensure sufficient access to parks and neighborhood greenspace, especially if findings are confirmed in longitudinal studies. More research is needed to investigate the role of intersection density in supporting AST and CIM.



Duffy, R. T., Larsen, K., Bélanger, M., Brussoni, M., Faulkner, G., Gunnell, K., Tremblay, M. S., & Larouche, R. (2024). Children’s Independent Mobility, School Travel, and the Surrounding Neighborhood. American journal of preventive medicine66(5), 819–831.


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