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School bag weight as a barrier to active transport to school among New Zealand adolescents

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posted on 2023-05-29, 14:53 authored by Sandra Mandic, Roman Keller, Enrique Garcia BengoecheaEnrique Garcia Bengoechea, Antoni Moore, Kirsten J. Coppell
Background: Excessive school bag weight is a barrier to active transport to school (ATS). This study examined parents’ and adolescents’ perceptions of school bag weights and actual school bag weights for adolescents in New Zealand. Methods: Parents (n = 331; 76.7% women) completed a survey. Adolescents (n = 682; age 15.1 1.4 years; 57.3% boys) completed a survey, underwent anthropometry, and had their school bags weighed. Results: Overall, 68.3% of parents perceived that adolescents’ school bags were too heavy to carry to school. This parental perception differed by adolescents’ mode of transport to school (active/motorized/combined: 35.1%/78.4%/68.8%, p < 0.001). Adolescents perceived that their school bags were too heavy to carry to walk (57.8%) or cycle (65.8%) to school. Adolescent perceptions differed by mode of transport to school (for walking (active/motorized/combined): 30.9%/69.2%/55.9% agree, p < 0.001; for cycling: 47.9%/72.8%/67.7%; p < 0.001). Actual school bag weight was, on average, 5.6 2.1 kg. Relative school bag weight (% of body weight) was higher for boys and underweight adolescents compared to their counterparts. Neither absolute nor relative school bag weight differed by mode of transport to school. Conclusions: School bag weight was perceived a barrier to ATS and was a greater perceived barrier among users of motorized versus active transport. Perceptions of school bag weights should be considered in future ATS interventions.



Children;2018, 5, 129





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Health Research Council of New Zealand, National Heart Foundation of New Zealand, Lottery Health Research, University of Otago, Dunedin City Council, School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Otago



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