Children who commute to school unaccompanied have greater autonomy and decision-making ability

November 27, 2017

Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) belonging to the research group PROFITH have proven that children who actively commute to school (that is, walking or cycling) without adults accompanying them have better safety perceptions and autonomy.

The research is fostered by an initiative from Granada's provincial government and its Department of Environment with the goal of promoting safe and healthy ways of going to school.

The results appear in a scientific paper published by Manuel Herrador Colmenero, Emilio Villa González and Palma Chillón, all of them professors at the UGR Department of Physical Education and Sport and members of the research group PROFITH.

A total of 745 schoolchildren, whose ages ranged from 6 to 12 years, participated in this study by filling a questionnaire. They had to tell if they went to school accompanied by an adult or not, how did they travel, and what was their perception about the safety of the route.

The research shows that children above 10-12 years are more likely to commute to school unaccompanied and in an active way. This not only improves their perception about the safety of the route, but also their autonomy, their self-confidence and their decision-making ability with respect to their way of commuting to school.

Moreover, active commuting is a source of physical activity for children and favors a healthier lifestyle. As Manuel Herrador, main researcher of this work says, "this increases physical activity and cardiovascular health in children that commute actively, especially in those that go cycling". Another line of research the group PROFITH has is focused on analysing the cognitive and academic performance improvement that active commuting may yield.
Bibliographic references:

1. Children who commute to school unaccompanied have greater autonomy and perceptions of safety. Herrador-Colmenero M, Emilio Villa-González, Palma Chillón (2017). Children who commute to school unaccompanied have greater autonomy and perceptions of safety. Acta Paediatrica. In press.


University of Granada

Related Physical Activity Articles from Brightsurf:

Physical activity in the morning could be most beneficial against cancer
The time of day when we exercise could affect the risk of cancer due to circadian disruption, according to a new study with about 3,000 Spanish people  

Physical activity and sleep in adults with arthritis
A new study published in Arthritis Care & Research has examined patterns of 24-hour physical activity and sleep among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and knee osteoarthritis.

Regular physical activity seems to enhance cognition in children who need it most
Researchers at the Universities of Tsukuba and Kobe re-analyzed data from three experiments that tested whether physical activity interventions lead to improved cognitive skills in children.

The benefits of physical activity for older adults
New findings published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports reveal how physically active older adults benefit from reduced risks of early death, breast and prostate cancer, fractures, recurrent falls, functional limitations, cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and depression.

Physical activity may protect against new episodes of depression
Increased levels of physical activity can significantly reduce the odds of depression, even among people who are genetically predisposed to the condition.

Is physical activity always good for the heart?
Physical activity is thought to be our greatest ally in the fight against cardiovascular disease.

Physical activity in lessons improves students' attainment
Students who take part in physical exercises like star jumps or running on the spot during school lessons do better in tests than peers who stick to sedentary learning, according to a UCL-led study.

Physical activity may attenuate menopause-associated atherogenic changes
Leisure-time physical activity is associated with a healthier blood lipid profile in menopausal women, but it doesn't seem to entirely offset the unfavorable lipid profile changes associated with the menopausal transition.

Are US adults meeting physical activity guidelines?
The proportion of US adults adhering to the 'Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans' from the US Department of Health and Human Services didn't significantly improve between 2007 and 2016 but time spent sitting increased.

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds do less vigorous physical activity
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds and certain ethnic minority backgrounds, including from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds, have lower levels of vigorous physical activity, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge.

Read More: Physical Activity News and Physical Activity Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to