This fall, NCCOR published a literature review in the Journal of Healthy Eating and Active Living and released a white paper summarizing a workshop that engaged experts to explore key challenges related to surveillance and measurement of youth active travel to school (ATS). A key priority for NCCOR has been to promote the common use of valid, standardized measures and methods across childhood obesity research, evaluation, and surveillance efforts. In 2017, NCCOR’s physical activity workgroup launched the Youth Active Travel to School Surveillance Initiative subgroup, which aims to improve public health surveillance of youth ATS across three key domains: youth ATS behaviors, environmental supports for ATS, and policy and program support for ATS.
The literature review found that there are few youth ATS surveillance systems in North America and that concurrent monitoring of other ATS-related features in these systems is limited or absent. The Youth ATS Surveillance Initiative subgroup held a virtual workshop in October 2020 to identify gaps in existing surveillance systems, pinpoint needs for users of these systems, and develop practical strategies and solutions to address those needs and strengthen surveillance where gaps exist. These recommendations are detailed in the white paper, and it is anticipated that they will inform and advance ATS research and surveillance as a priority topic in overall physical activity surveillance.
For more information, visit NCCOR’s project webpage, Youth Active Travel to School Surveillance Initiative. NCCOR anticipates publishing a commentary addressing additional gaps in research for youth ATS surveillance.