Active Commuting to University and its Association with Sociodemographic Factors and Physical Activity Levels in Chilean Students
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AuthorBarranco-Ruiz, Yaira; Cruz León, Carolina; Villa González, Emilio; Palma Real, Ximena; Chillón Garzón, Palma; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Fernando
young adulthoodActive transportPhysical activityHealth promotionUniversity students
Barranco-Ruiz, Y., Cruz León, C., Villa-González, E., Palma Leal, X., Chillón, P., & Rodríguez-Rodríguez, F. (2019). Active Commuting to University and its Association with Sociodemographic Factors and Physical Activity Levels in Chilean Students. Medicina, 55(5), 152.
Background and Objectives: Active commuting to and from university (ACU) could be a strategy to increase physical activity levels (PA) and promote health in young university students. We aimed to a) examine the patterns of commuting to university in Chilean students; b) the association between the mode of commuting to and from university and socio-demographic factors and PA-levels. Results: The main mode of commuting was by bus (to university: 55.2% vs. from university: 59.3%; p < 0.001). The least used mode was cycling (1.4% to and from university). Students living >5-km from university were less active commuters than those living in closer distances: (2–5 km, odds ratio (OR): 4.424, 95% and 95% confidence intervals (CI): 2.443–8.011, p < 0.001; 2 km, OR: 143.052, 95% CI: 55.154–371.030, p < 0.001). Students with low PA-levels were less active commuters than those with medium (OR: 1.446; 95% CI: 0.864–2.421; p = 0.160) or higher levels (OR: 1.880; 95% CI: 1.880–1.094; p = 0.022). Students who lived between 2 and 5 km, presented a significant association to be active commuters when they showed medium PA-levels (OR: 5.244, 95% CI: 1.358–20.246; p = 0.016). Conclusions: Chilean university students from Valparaíso are mainly passive commuters using public transport as the main mode of commuting to and from university; longer distances from home to the university are associated with low PA levels. ACU in distances between 2–5 km (mainly walking) could contribute to having medium PA-levels in Chilean university students. Thus, promoting the ACU walking to and from the university in such distances could be an e ective strategy to increase the overall PA levels in Chilean university students.