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Open AccessArticle

Active Transport to School May Reduce Psychosomatic Symptoms in School-Aged Children: Data from Nine Countries

1
Institute of Mother and Child Foundation, 01-211 Warsaw, Poland
2
Collegium Medicum, University of Zielona Góra, 65-046 Zielona Góra, Poland
3
Department of Child and Adolescent Health, Institute of Mother and Child, 01-211 Warsaw, Poland
4
Department of Natural and Sociological Sciences, Heidelberg University of Education, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
5
Department of Biomedical Foundations of Development and Sexology, Faculty of Education, University of Warsaw, 01-211 Warsaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8709; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238709
Received: 15 October 2020 / Revised: 20 November 2020 / Accepted: 21 November 2020 / Published: 24 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Commuting and Active Transportation)
It is widely proven that being physically active and avoiding sedentary behaviour help to improve adolescents’ well-being and keep them in better health in general. We aimed to investigate the relationship between modes of transport to school and subjective complaints among schoolchildren. Analyses were based on the HBSC (Health Behaviour in School-aged Children) surveys conducted in 2017/18 in nine countries (N = 55,607; mean age 13.43 ± 1.64 yrs.). The main outcome showed that health complaints consisted of somatic and psychological complaints. Transport to school was characterized by mode of getting there (walking, biking, or another passive mode). A total of 46.1% of students walked and 7.3% cycled to school; 46.6% commuted by passive means. Biking to school was more frequent in Denmark (37.9%), Norway (26.5%), and Germany (26.6%). The multivariate generalized linear model adjusted for age, gender, country, and school proximity showed that biking to school is protective against reports of health complaints. The beta parameters were equal to −0.498 (p < 0.001) for the general HBSC-SCL index, −0.208 (p < 0.001) for the somatic complaint index, and −0.285 (p < 0.001) for the psychological complaints index. Young people who actively commute to school are less likely to report health complaints, especially psychological symptoms. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; wellbeing; active transport; youth; school; mental health; psychosomatic complaints physical activity; wellbeing; active transport; youth; school; mental health; psychosomatic complaints
MDPI and ACS Style

Kleszczewska, D.; Mazur, J.; Bucksch, J.; Dzielska, A.; Brindley, C.; Michalska, A. Active Transport to School May Reduce Psychosomatic Symptoms in School-Aged Children: Data from Nine Countries. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8709. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238709

AMA Style

Kleszczewska D, Mazur J, Bucksch J, Dzielska A, Brindley C, Michalska A. Active Transport to School May Reduce Psychosomatic Symptoms in School-Aged Children: Data from Nine Countries. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):8709. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238709

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kleszczewska, Dorota; Mazur, Joanna; Bucksch, Jens; Dzielska, Anna; Brindley, Catherina; Michalska, Agnieszka. 2020. "Active Transport to School May Reduce Psychosomatic Symptoms in School-Aged Children: Data from Nine Countries" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 23: 8709. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238709

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