A1 Journal article (refereed)
Associations of active commuting to school in childhood and physical activity in adulthood (2023)

Kaseva, K., Lounassalo, I., Yang, X., Kukko, T., Hakonen, H., Kulmala, J., Pahkala, K., Rovio, S., Hirvensalo, M., Raitakari, O., Tammelin, T. H., & Salin, K. (2023). Associations of active commuting to school in childhood and physical activity in adulthood. Scientific Reports, 13, Article 7642. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-33518-z

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsKaseva, Kaisa; Lounassalo, Irinja; Yang, Xiaolin; Kukko, Tuomas; Hakonen, Harto; Kulmala, Janne; Pahkala, Katja; Rovio, Suvi; Hirvensalo, Mirja; Raitakari, Olli; et al.

Journal or seriesScientific Reports


Publication year2023

Publication date11/05/2023


Article number7642

PublisherNature Publishing Group

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/87035


This study examined whether active commuting to school in childhood and adolescence predicted active commuting to work and overall physical activity (PA) in adulthood. Participants from the Young Finns Study (N = 2436) were aged 9–18 years in 1980 and followed up until 2018/2020. Their commuting modes to school were assessed with a self-reported questionnaire in 1980. Adulthood PA was assessed through self-reports regarding commuting modes to work (2001–2018), leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) (2001–2018), and objectively measured daily steps (2007–2018/2020). Associations between childhood commuting and adulthood PA were evaluated using regression analyses and multilevel models. Demographic, socioeconomic and environmental covariates were adjusted for in the analyses. Active commuting to school in childhood contributed favourably to LTPA in 2001 (B = .38, p < .001), in 2007 (B = .35, p < .001), and in 2018 (B = .28, p < .01). Active commuting in childhood was associated with higher number of daily aerobic steps (B = 299.00, p = .03) and daily aerobic steps during weekdays in 2011 (B = 312.15, p = .03). In 2018, active commuting associated favourably with daily aerobic steps (B = 370.42, p < .01), daily aerobic steps during weekdays (B = 347.65, p = .01), daily steps during weekends (B = 628.49, p = .02), and daily aerobic steps during weekends (B = 402.69, p = .03). Covariate adjustments attenuated the associations excluding the one between active commuting and LTPA in 2007 (B = .36, p = .01) and daily steps during weekends in 2018 (B = 782.25, p = .04). Active commuting to school in childhood might be one of the PA modes that contribute to PA in adulthood and is therefore encouraged to be promoted from an early age.

Keywordsphysical activityincidental exerciseway to schoolcommutewalking (motion)cyclingchildhoodyouthadulthoodlongitudinal research

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

Preliminary JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 18:17