Access to pedestrian roads, daily activities, and physical performance of adolescents

Spine (Phila Pa 1976)


STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional study using a questionnaire and physical tests was performed. OBJECTIVE: To study how access to pedestrian roads and daily activities are related to low back strength, low back mobility, and hip mobility in adolescents. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Although many authorities express concern about the passive lifestyle of adolescents, little is known about associations between daily activities and physical performance. METHODS: This study compared 38 youths in a community lacking access to pedestrian roads with 50 youths in nearby area providing excellent access to pedestrian roads. A standardized questionnaire was used to obtain data about pedestrian roads, school journeys, and activities from the local authorities and the pupils. Low back strength was tested as static endurance strength, low back mobility by modified Schober techniques, and hip mobility by goniometer. For statistical analyses, a P value of 0.05 or less determined significance. RESULTS: In the area using school buses, the pupils had less low back extension, less hamstring flexibility, and less hip abduction, flexion, and extension than pupils in the area with pedestrian roads. Multivariate analyses showed no associations between walking or bicycling to school and anatomic function, but regular walking or bicycling to leisure-time activities associated positively with low back strength, low back extension, hip flexion, and extension. Distance by school bus associated negatively with hip abduction, hip flexion, hip extension, and hamstring flexibility (P<0.001). Time spent on television or computer associated negatively but insignificantly with low back strength, hamstring flexibility, hip abduction, and flexion (P<0.1). CONCLUSION: The results indicate that access to pedestrian roads and other lifestyle factors are associated with physical performance.

Sjolie, A N eng Comparative Study Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2000 Aug 1;25(15):1965-72.