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Feasibility and effectiveness of drop-off spots to promote walking to school

Griet Vanwolleghem (UGent) , Sara D'Haese (UGent) , Delfien Van Dyck (UGent) , Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij (UGent) and Greet Cardon (UGent)
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Organization
Abstract
Background: Drop-off spots are locations in the proximity of primary schools where parents can drop off or pick up their child. From these drop-off spots children can walk to and from school. This pilot study aimed to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of drop-off spots and to evaluate how drop-off spots are perceived by school principals, teachers and parents of 6-to-12-year old children. Methods: First, a feasibility questionnaire was completed (n = 216) to obtain parental opinions towards the implementation of drop-off spots. A drop-off spot was organized (500-800 m distance from school) in two primary schools. A within-subject design was used to compare children's (n = 58) step counts and number of walking trips during usual conditions (baseline) and during implementation of a drop-off spot (intervention). Three-level (class-participant- condition) linear regression models were used to determine intervention effects. After the intervention, 2 school principals, 7 teachers and 44 parents filled out a process evaluation questionnaire. Results: Prior to the intervention, 96% expressed the need for adult supervision during the route to school. Positive significant intervention effects were found for step counts before/after school hours (+732 step counts/day; X-2 = 12.2; p < 0.001) and number of walking trips to/from school (+2 trips/week; X-2 = 52.9; p < 0.001). No intervention effect was found for total step counts/day (X-2 = 2.0; p = 0.16). The intervention was positively perceived by the school principals and parents, but teachers expressed doubts regarding future implementation. Conclusion: This pilot study showed that implementing drop-off spots might be an effective intervention to promote children's walking to school. Implementing drop-off spots does not require major efforts from the schools and schools can choose how and when they organize drop-off spots. However, motivating teachers and involving other volunteers (e. g. parents, grandparents) may be needed. Future studies should investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of drop-off spots in a larger sample of schools.
Keywords
Primary schoolchildren, CHILDRENS PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY, Intervention, Drop-off spots, TRANSPORT, BUS, ADOLESCENTS, TRENDS, YOUTH, TIME, Active commuting to school

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MLA
Vanwolleghem, Griet, Sara D’Haese, Delfien Van Dyck, et al. “Feasibility and Effectiveness of Drop-off Spots to Promote Walking to School.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY 11 (2014): n. pag. Print.
APA
Vanwolleghem, G., D’Haese, S., Van Dyck, D., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., & Cardon, G. (2014). Feasibility and effectiveness of drop-off spots to promote walking to school. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, 11.
Chicago author-date
Vanwolleghem, Griet, Sara D’Haese, Delfien Van Dyck, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, and Greet Cardon. 2014. “Feasibility and Effectiveness of Drop-off Spots to Promote Walking to School.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 11.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vanwolleghem, Griet, Sara D’Haese, Delfien Van Dyck, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, and Greet Cardon. 2014. “Feasibility and Effectiveness of Drop-off Spots to Promote Walking to School.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 11.
Vancouver
1.
Vanwolleghem G, D’Haese S, Van Dyck D, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Cardon G. Feasibility and effectiveness of drop-off spots to promote walking to school. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. 2014;11.
IEEE
[1]
G. Vanwolleghem, S. D’Haese, D. Van Dyck, I. De Bourdeaudhuij, and G. Cardon, “Feasibility and effectiveness of drop-off spots to promote walking to school,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, vol. 11, 2014.
@article{5766126,
  abstract     = {Background: Drop-off spots are locations in the proximity of primary schools where parents can drop off or pick up their child. From these drop-off spots children can walk to and from school. This pilot study aimed to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of drop-off spots and to evaluate how drop-off spots are perceived by school principals, teachers and parents of 6-to-12-year old children. 
Methods: First, a feasibility questionnaire was completed (n = 216) to obtain parental opinions towards the implementation of drop-off spots. A drop-off spot was organized (500-800 m distance from school) in two primary schools. A within-subject design was used to compare children's (n = 58) step counts and number of walking trips during usual conditions (baseline) and during implementation of a drop-off spot (intervention). Three-level (class-participant- condition) linear regression models were used to determine intervention effects. After the intervention, 2 school principals, 7 teachers and 44 parents filled out a process evaluation questionnaire. 
Results: Prior to the intervention, 96% expressed the need for adult supervision during the route to school. Positive significant intervention effects were found for step counts before/after school hours (+732 step counts/day; X-2 = 12.2; p < 0.001) and number of walking trips to/from school (+2 trips/week; X-2 = 52.9; p < 0.001). No intervention effect was found for total step counts/day (X-2 = 2.0; p = 0.16). The intervention was positively perceived by the school principals and parents, but teachers expressed doubts regarding future implementation. 
Conclusion: This pilot study showed that implementing drop-off spots might be an effective intervention to promote children's walking to school. Implementing drop-off spots does not require major efforts from the schools and schools can choose how and when they organize drop-off spots. However, motivating teachers and involving other volunteers (e. g. parents, grandparents) may be needed. Future studies should investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of drop-off spots in a larger sample of schools.},
  articleno    = {136},
  author       = {Vanwolleghem, Griet and D'Haese, Sara and Van Dyck, Delfien and De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse and Cardon, Greet},
  issn         = {1479-5868},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY},
  keywords     = {Primary schoolchildren,CHILDRENS PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY,Intervention,Drop-off spots,TRANSPORT,BUS,ADOLESCENTS,TRENDS,YOUTH,TIME,Active commuting to school},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {11},
  title        = {Feasibility and effectiveness of drop-off spots to promote walking to school},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12966-014-0136-6},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2014},
}

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