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Table 3 Effect size of active school transportation interventions stratified by intervention type

From: Effectiveness of active school transport interventions: a systematic review and update

  Measure of effect size Cohen’s d
Safe Routes to school
 Henderson (2013) Change in prevalence of AST (morning trip/afternoon trip) 0.66/0.17
 McDonald (2014) Change in prevalence of AST 0.19
 Østergaard (2015) Change in number of weekly AST trips 0.02
 Stewart (2014) Change in prevalence of AST 0.28
School travel planning
 Buliung (2011) Change in prevalence of AST 0.05
 Crawford (2013) Change in prevalence of AST – inner suburban pilot school (direct observation/hands-up survey) 0.27/0.30
 Crawford (2013) Change in prevalence of AST – outer suburban pilot school (direct observation/hands-up survey) −0.12/0.04
 Crawford (2013) Change in prevalence of AST in the program schools (parent report/child report) 0.04/-0.06
 Hinckson (2011a) Change in prevalence of AST 0.14
 Hinckson (2011b) Change in prevalence of AST according to length of follow-up (1 year/2 years/3 years) −0.17; 0.51; 0.54
 Mammen (2014b) Change in prevalence of AST (morning trip/afternoon trip) −0.02; 0.01
Walking school buses
 Mendoza (2011) Change in percentage of trips using AST 0.40
 Sayers (2012) Difference in % of time spent in MVPA −0.32
Cycle training
 Ducheyne (2014) Change in weekly time spent engaging in AST (intervention vs. control group/intervention + parent vs. control group) 0.46/0.03
 Johnson (2016) Difference in odds of cycling to school between trained and untrained children (Bikeability survey) 0.45
 Johnson (2016) Difference in odds of cycling to school between trained and untrained (CensusAtSchool survey) 0.26
 Goodman (2016) Difference in odds of cycling to school between trained and untrained (school level/individual level) −0.17; 0.18
Special events
 Bungum (2014) Change in number of students engaging in AST 0.29
 Coombes (2016) Change in proportion of trips using AST at 7-week and 20-week follow ups respectively −0.32; 0.24
 Hunter (2015) Change in prevalence of AST (measured with swipe card/self-report) −0.61; 0.34
Multi-component interventions
 Christiansen (2014) Change in odds of engaging in AST 0.13
 Xu (2015) Change in odds of engaging in AST 0.45
Curriculum-based interventions
 McMinn (2012) Difference in commuting steps and MVPA between intervention and control groups 0.06/-0.03
 McMinn (2012) Difference in daily steps and MVPA between intervention and control groups 0.52/0.46
 Villa-Gonzalez (2016) Changes in weekly number of active trips 0.40
Drop-off spots
 Vanwolleghem (2014) Change in frequency of AST 0.75
Crossing guards
 Gutierrez (2014) Change in number of students engaging in AST 0.03
  1. AST active school transportation, MVPA moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Effect sizes were computed as detailed in Additional file 2. Some studies appear more than once because they have multiple measures of effect size. Cohen’s d could not be computed for 5 interventions because insufficient information was provided by the authors. Following Cohen’s28 guidelines, effect size can be categorized as trivial (d < 0.2), small (d = 0.2), medium (d = 0.5), or large (d = 0.8)