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The Strathclyde evaluation of children's active travel (SE-CAT) : study rationale and methods

McMinn, D. and Rowe, D. A. and Murtagh, S. and Nelson, N. M. (2011) The Strathclyde evaluation of children's active travel (SE-CAT) : study rationale and methods. BMC Public Health, 11. ISSN 1471-2458

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The school commute is a prime opportunity to increase children's physical activity levels. However, active commuting has decreased over the past 40 years. Strategies that increase walking to school are therefore needed. Travelling Green (TG) is a school-based active travel resource aimed at increasing children's walking to school. The resource consists of a curriculum-based program of lessons and goal setting activities. A previous study found that children who received the TG intervention increased self-reported distance travelled to school by active modes and reduced the distance travelled by inactive modes. This study was limited by self-reported outcome measures, a small sample, and no follow-up measures. A more robust evaluation of TG is required to address these limitations. This paper describes the rationale and methods for such an evaluation of Travelling Green, and describes the piloting of various active commuting measures in primary school children.