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Safe Routes to School- PedNet Coalition

Underlying Theory/Evidence

Strategies Used: Safe Routes to School programs are based on the following evidence-based strategies related to physical activity:

  • Community-wide campaigns to promote physical activity are comprehensive programs that promote physical activity and use multiple intervention strategies within multiple settings in a community. These comprehensive programs most often include components that target individual-level behavior change, as well as components that target organizational, community, social, or policy factors that support positive behavior changes.  Mass media, social support programs, individual education, health fairs, physical activity events, and environmental changes are common elements of community-wide campaigns to increase physical activity 
  • Social support for physical activity provides a supportive environment for individuals’ attempting to increase their physical activity and to sustain routine physical activity.  For example, social support interventions can be family-based, where the content targets family support as a whole, parent support, or spouse/partner support.  Common components of family-based social support interventions include education, skill development, and physical activity opportunities.  Other social support interventions target existing social networks (e.g., a church congregation) or the development of social networks (e.g., worksite-based employee walking group).  Techniques regularly used in social network-based interventions include group-oriented goal setting, problem solving, discussion, and physical activity opportunities or events.
  • Active transportation increases physical activity by integrating activity into daily routines.  Examples of active transport are biking or walking to a destination rather than driving, and facilitation of these choices can occur at the individual and community level.  Policies can encourage active transport by affecting the physical and social environment.