Associations of Weight Status, Social Factors, and Active Travel Among College Students

Melissa Bopp, Timothy K. Behrens, Rachel Velecina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Active travel (AT) is associated with various health benefits and may help prevent the decline in physical activity during college years. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of several factors with AT to campus by weight status. Methods: Students at a large northeastern US campus completed an online survey about demographics, height/weight, frequency and mode of travel to/around campus, and environmental influences for travel choices. Participants were dichotomized into healthy weight ( < 25 kg/m2, n = 552, 72.3%) and overweight ( ≥ 25 kg/m2, n = 211, 27.7%) categories. Descriptive and inferential analyses examined relationships and differences between weight categories. Logistic regression models examined the associations with demographic, psychological, residential, social, and environmental variables with participation in AT. Results: Participants were primarily white (85.3%) and female (62.7%). Healthy weight students were more likely to report AT to campus and AT as their primary mode of travel on campus compared to overweight students. Discussion: These findings provide insight on the association of weight status with environmental and community influences for AT and identifies possible targets for intervention. Translation to Health Education Practice: College health educators can use these findings to set relevant policy and environment goals to target student AT participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-367
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 19 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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