COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.
Get the latest public health information from CDC:

Get the latest research information from NIH: Menu

Evaluation of a Walking School Bus Program

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01626807
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 25, 2012
Last Update Posted : April 25, 2017
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jason Mendoza, Seattle Children's Hospital

Brief Summary:

Just two generations ago, walking or bicycling to school was the norm for a substantial number of US children, e.g. 48% of children walked or biked to school in 1969 versus only 13% in 2009. This decline occurred in the same timeframe as the childhood obesity epidemic, which is at record high levels in the US and affects low-income and ethnic minority children the most. This project will test "the walking school bus" (WSB) program, in which children walk to and from school with adults, and its impact on low-income, ethnic minority children's walking to school, physical activity, and risk for obesity. Ultimately, this line of research has the potential to provide a low-cost, easy to disseminate program to reduce risk of obesity and cancer for at-risk children.

The investigators Specific Aims among 3rd-5th grade children include:

SA1) To recruit 770 child-parent dyads from 22 elementary schools over 4 years and conduct a cluster randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of a WSB program on children's walking to school, physical activity, and BMI z-score over a school-year SA2) To collect and analyze data on individual-, school-, and macro-level influences on changes to children's walking to school resulting from the WSB program

The Primary Hypotheses to be tested, in comparison to control children, include:

H1) The WSB program will increase children's walking to school over a school-year.

H1a) Parents' outcome expectations and self-efficacy will mediate the relationship between the WSB and changes to children's walking to school.

H1b) Walkability, safety, and acculturation will moderate changes to children's walking to school.

H2) The WSB program will increase children's physical activity and decrease BMI z-scores over a school-year.

H3) The WSB program will increase school-level pedestrian safety behaviors over a school-year.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Obesity Physical Activity Behavioral: Walking School Bus Not Applicable

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 838 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Evaluation of a Walking School Bus Program: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial
Study Start Date : December 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2016

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Walking school bus Behavioral: Walking School Bus
Children will have the option of walking to and/or from school with study staff who are trained in Safe Routes to School methods.

No Intervention: Usual care

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Weekly rate of children's active commuting to school [ Time Frame: 5-6 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity [ Time Frame: 5-6 months ]
  2. Body mass index z-score [ Time Frame: 5-6 months ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   7 Years to 14 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • physically capable of walking to and from school
  • live within 1-mile of school or parents agree to regularly drop off children within 1-mile of school
  • attend a study school and enrolled in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade

Exclusion Criteria:

  • another child from the same household is enrolled in the study

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01626807

Layout table for location information
United States, Washington
Seattle Children's Research Institute
Seattle, Washington, United States, 98145-5005
Sponsors and Collaborators
Seattle Children's Hospital
Layout table for investigator information
Principal Investigator: Jason A Mendoza, MD, MPH Seattle Children's Research Institute

Additional Information:
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: Jason Mendoza, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Seattle Children's Hospital Identifier: NCT01626807    
Other Study ID Numbers: 1R01CA163146-01A1 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: June 25, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: April 25, 2017
Last Verified: April 2017
Keywords provided by Jason Mendoza, Seattle Children's Hospital:
Safe Routes to School
Walking School Bus
Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial
Physical Activity
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
Nutrition Disorders
Body Weight
Signs and Symptoms