Active and Passive Commuting to School: Influences on Affect in Primary School Children
Authors: Hulley, Angela; Bentley, Nick; Clough, Catherine; Fishlock, Adelle; Morrell, Frances; O'Brien, James; Radmore, Joseph
Source: Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 1 December 2008, vol. 79, no. 4, pp. 525-534(10)
Abstract:Active commuting among school children is being encouraged for physical and environmental reasons, but little is known about its influence on affect. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that children who walk further to school experience increased arousal and affective valence compared with children who walk a short distance. This was assessed with the children's feeling scale (CFS) and children's felt arousal scale (CFAS). Distance walked to school and affective change between home and school were assessed over a 2-week period in 99 children between 5 and 10 years of age. Home to school differences in CFS and CFAS scores were compared in children who walked a short (100–300 m); medium (301–500 m), and long distance (over 500 m). Although differences were not always statistically significant, there was evidence that the children who walked further reported a greater increase in their CFAS scores between home and school (average 2 = .08, range: .01–.15) and, to a lesser extent, in their CFS scores (2 = .04, range: .002–.06). Further research is needed to explore whether there is an optimum walking distance and the contribution of other factors, especially social contacts during commuting, the environment, and the weather.
Document Type: Research Article