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  • Author: Joanna Łuczak x
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Patterns of children’s travel to school, their body weight, spatial factors, and perceptions: A survey on nine European cities

Abstract

Increasing rates of body weight of children has become a motivation for investigating active transportation to school during the past years. Lack of proper data covering different geographical contexts is a problem seen in the literature of this subject. The present paper reports the findings of a recent survey on nine cities in seven European countries funded by the European Commission. The objective of the survey was to provide data covering several topics in relation with active commuting to school and body mass index, such as parental perceptions of safety and security, neighborhood facilities, land use characteristics, etc. in different regions of Europe in a way that cross-sectional comparisons between regions and city sizes is facilitated. For that, 2735 children/parents were handed out questionnaires, from whom 1424 filled out the questionnaires (response rate: 52%). This led to 1304 validated questionnaires. The respondents studied in 21 elementary schools of Foggia, Italy; Berlin, Germany; Thessaloniki, Greece; Rijeka, Croatia; Utrecht, The Netherlands; Łódź, Poland; Konstantynow, Poland; Malatya, Turkey, and Doğanşehir, Turkey as of March 2016 until January 2017. The survey instrument enables development of continuous and categorical variables for empirical research with strong focus on the built environment using the aggregate data provided by this study. It is expected that the output data eases production of knowledge about less-studied European contexts as well as cross-sectional comparison of results with more studied areas of Western Europe.

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