The Right Tracks Study – Development and Piloting of an Incentive Scheme to Promote Active School Travel in Year 5 Children
S. Ginja1, E. McColl1, B. Arnott1, V. Araujo-Soares1, A. Namdeo1
1Newcastle University, Institute of Health and Society, United Kingdom
Background: Active school travel (AST) (walking/cycling to school) can augment youth’s physical activity but 50% of UK children travel to school by car or bus. Evidence suggests that incentive schemes may be effective at promoting AST. Aim: To test the feasibility of an incentive scheme to promote AST in year 5 children. Methods: Using a cluster randomised design, schools will be invited to take part and two will be selected by a match of features (e.g. area, free meals). An information pack and parent questionnaire will be sent home. Participation may be complete or limited to baseline assessment, intervention phase or semi-structured interviews about taking part in the study. Both intervention and control groups will report their daily travel mode to school via parental forms and wear an accelerometer, to help validate the reports. The procedure will last seven days at baseline and one school term during the intervention. Once a week, the researcher will visit the intervention classroom, collect the forms and accelerometers, download the data and count the “points”: the number of parent-reported AST days. Each point is a ticket with the child’s name on entering a weekly £5 voucher draw. Similar contact will be kept with the control school (no incentive scheme). Interviews will be conducted throughout the intervention. Findings: Data on barriers and facilitators will inform a future trial.