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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 995; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090995

Fitness, Fatness and Active School Commuting among Liverpool Schoolchildren

1
Department of Sport and Physical Activity, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk L39 4QP, UK
2
Physical Activity Exchange, Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 2AB, UK
3
Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick V94 T9PX, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Child Well-Being)
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Abstract

This study investigated differences in health outcomes between active and passive school commuters, and examined associations between parent perceptions of the neighborhood environment and active school commuting (ASC). One hundred-ninety-four children (107 girls), aged 9–10 years from ten primary schools in Liverpool, England, participated in this cross-sectional study. Measures of stature, body mass, waist circumference and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) were taken. School commute mode (active/passive) was self-reported and parents completed the neighborhood environment walkability scale for youth. Fifty-three percent of children commuted to school actively. Schoolchildren who lived in more deprived neighborhoods perceived by parents as being highly connected, unaesthetic and having mixed land-use were more likely to commute to school actively (p < 0.05). These children were at greatest risk of being obese and aerobically unfit(p < 0.01). Our results suggest that deprivation may explain the counterintuitive relationship between obesity, CRF and ASC in Liverpool schoolchildren. These findings encourage researchers and policy makers to be equally mindful of the social determinants of health when advocating behavioral and environmental health interventions. Further research exploring contextual factors to ASC, and examining the concurrent effect of ASC and diet on weight status by deprivation is needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: child; active commuting; physical activity; fitness; weight; obesity; neighborhood; deprivation; poverty; obesogenic child; active commuting; physical activity; fitness; weight; obesity; neighborhood; deprivation; poverty; obesogenic
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Noonan, R.J.; Boddy, L.M.; Knowles, Z.R.; Fairclough, S.J. Fitness, Fatness and Active School Commuting among Liverpool Schoolchildren. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 995.

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