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Active commuting and its associations with blood pressure and adiposity markers in children

Aristides M Machado-Rodrigues, Ana Santana, Augusta Gama, Isabel Mourão, Helena Nogueira, Victor Rosado, Jorge Mota, Cristina Padez
Preventive Medicine 2014, 69: 132-4

OBJECTIVE: The positive impacts of active travel on health markers still require further research, especially in youth populations with higher risk of obesity. The present study aimed to analyze the associations between blood pressure and adiposity risk (BPAR) and active travel to school in children.

METHODS: The sample comprised 665 Portuguese children (345 boys) aged 7-9 years. Data on height, weight, and skinfold thickness were collected by a trained fieldworker as well as data on BPAR between March 2009 and January 2010 (data were analyzed in 2012-2013). Information on mode and duration of travel to school (i.e. exposure) was gathered by questionnaire. Outcome variables were statistically normalized and expressed as Z scores. A BPAR score was computed as the mean of the Z scores. Multiple linear regression, with adjustments for confounders, was used.

RESULTS: Active commuting was inversely associated with BPAR after adjustment for several potential confounders. After adjusting for BMI, the strength of the relationship between BPAR and active commuting was significantly improved (p≤0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Findings showed an independent association between the clustered BPAR and active commuting in children aged 7-9 years.


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