Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 105, Issue 5, pp e348–e353 | Cite as

Factors associated with active commuting among a nationally representative sample of Canadian youth

  • Ammar Bookwala
  • Tara Elton-Marshall
  • Scott T. LeatherdaleEmail author
Quantitative Research


OBJECTIVES: Given the link between active commuting and physical activity, this study examined factors associated with active commuting among a nationally representative sample of Canadian youth.

METHODS: Using data from the 2010–11 Youth Smoking Survey, this study examined different forms of commuting (active, inactive, mixed) and factors associated with either mixed or active commuting among grade 6 to 12 students.

RESULTS: Among Canadian youth in 2010–11, only 22.1% reported being an active commuter and only 25.7% reported being a mixed commuter. Students were more likely to commute actively if they were male, in younger grades (grades 6–10), a normal weight, a current smoker, or lived in urban areas.

CONCLUSION: There is substantial opportunity to promote active commuting within the Canadian context since most youth were inactive commuters. Future research should explore the underlying facilitators or barriers to active commuting so that we better understand how best to promote active commuting among the subpopulations of youth (e.g., females, overweight youth, non-smokers, youth in rural areas) who are less likely to commute actively.


Adolescent physical activity active commuting body mass index smoking 


OBJECTIFS : Étant donné le lien entre les déplacements actifs et l’activité physique, cette étude porte sur les facteurs associés aux déplacements actifs dans un échantillon représentatif national de jeunes Canadiens.

MÉTHODE : À l’aide des données de l’Enquête sur le tabagisme chez les jeunes de 2010–2011, l’étude examine différentes formes de déplacements (actifs, inactifs, mixtes) et les facteurs associés aux déplacements mixtes ou actifs chez les élèves de la 6e à la 12e année.

RÉSULTATS : Chez les jeunes Canadiens en 2010–2011, seulement 22,1 % disaient être des navetteurs actifs et seulement 25,7 % disaient utiliser des modes de transport mixtes. Les élèves étaient plus susceptibles d’être des navetteurs actifs s’ils étaient des garçons, moins avancés dans leur parcours scolaire (6e à 10e année), de poids normal, fumeurs actuels ou vivant en zone urbaine.

CONCLUSION : Il y a d’importantes possibilités de promouvoir les déplacements actifs dans le contexte canadien, car la plupart des jeunes emploient des modes de transport inactifs. Les études futures devraient explorer les éléments sous-jacents qui facilitent ou qui font obstacle aux déplacements actifs pour pouvoir mieux comprendre les meilleurs moyens de promouvoir ce type de déplacements dans les sous-populations de jeunes (p. ex., filles, jeunes en surpoids, non-fumeurs, jeunes en milieu rural) moins susceptibles d’être des navetteurs actifs.


adolescent activité physique déplacements actifs indice de masse corporelle tabagisme 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ammar Bookwala
    • 1
  • Tara Elton-Marshall
    • 2
  • Scott T. Leatherdale
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Social and Epidemiological Research DepartmentCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthLondonCanada
  3. 3.School of Public Health and Health SystemsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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