Active commuting behaviours from high school to university in Chile: A retrospective study

Maribel Parra-Saldías, Jose Castro-Piñero, Antonio Castillo Paredes, Ximena Palma Leal, Ximena Díaz Martínez, Fernando Rodríguez-Rodríguez

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12 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the differences in the modes and distance of the displacements in high school and university stage in the same sample. Methods: A total of 1288 volunteer university students (614 males and 674 females) participated, with an average age of 22.7 ± 5.8 years, belonging to four private and public universities in Chile where a validated self-report questionnaire was applied to the study, which included the modes, travel time, and distance at school and university. Results: The active commuting decreases from school to university when leaving home (males: 39.6% to 34.0%; p = 0.033 and females: 32.9% to 18.5%, p < 0.001), as well as when returning (males: 44.1% to 33.7%; p < 0.001 and females: 38.6% to 17.6%, p < 0.001). Conversely, non-active modes of transport increase, especially in females (go: 67.1% to 81.4%, return: 61.5% to 82.6%), affected by the increase in the use of public transportation in university. It was also defined that at both school and at university, the active commuting decreases the greater the distance travelled. Conclusion: The active modes of commuting decreased between high school and university and the non-active mode of commuting was the most frequent form of mobility to high school and university, observing that the active trips decreased when the distance from the home to high school or university increased. Public and private intervention policies and strategies are required to maintain or increase the modes of active commuting in the university stage for an active life in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Article number53
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Active transport
  • High school
  • Physical activity
  • Students


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