Journal of Community Health

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 116–121 | Cite as

A Profile of Active Transportation in Colorado Public Schools, 2014–2015

  • Timothy K. BehrensEmail author
  • Randa Osman
  • Paige Whitney
  • Dick Carpenter
  • Elizabeth Tucker
  • Julaine Field
  • Cheryl Kelly
Original Paper


Active transportation (AT) may represent an ideal opportunity to accumulate physical activity (PA). Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe the AT profile among students from two Colorado school districts. Students completed a survey on AT resulting in a final dataset (n = 3738) from which descriptive and inferential statics were calculated. Respondents were 11.32 ± 2.82 years of age (Boys = 48.27 %; Girls = 51.73 %). Most students (87.29 %) traveled to or from school via automobile, while 11.17 % walked and 1.53 % biked. Boys rode bicycles to school significantly more (p < 0.0001) than girls, and when walking, accumulated significantly more time (p = 0.02) than females. When examining by grade level significant differences were found for days/week walking (p = 0.0002) to school and biking (p < 0.001) to school. High school students accumulated significantly (p < 0.0001) more time walking to school than middle or elementary school students. Similarly, high school students spent more time biking (p < 0.0001) to school than middle school and elementary school respondents. These findings indicate that travel to school by automobile is still the dominant mode of travel for most public school students. Further, males were generally more likely to obtain extra time in AT. Moreover, older students were more likely to engage in AT, and to spend more time during their AT.


Public health Behavior change Health Physical activity Schools 



This work was supported by a contract from Kaiser Permanente Colorado to Northern Arizona University (Contract #16-0066) and the University of Colorado—Colorado Springs (Contract #16501-0000077160).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy K. Behrens
    • 1
    Email author
  • Randa Osman
    • 2
  • Paige Whitney
    • 2
  • Dick Carpenter
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Tucker
    • 2
  • Julaine Field
    • 2
  • Cheryl Kelly
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Health SciencesNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA
  2. 2.College of EducationUniversity of ColoradoColorado SpringsUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Health ResearchKaiser Permanente ColoradoDenverUSA

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