Process evaluation of a pilot study to test the feasibility of an incentive scheme to increase active travel to school

Samuel Ginja*, Bronia Arnott, Vera Araujo-Soares, Anil Namdeo, Elaine McColl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Active travel to school (ATS) can increase children's levels of physical activity but so far there is limited evidence that ATS interventions are effective. The RIGHT TRACKS pilot study aimed to test the feasibility of an incentivescheme to increase ATS in Year 5 children. Data collection included weekly child and parental reports of ATS (daily, when by text message), and accelerometers worn by children, in both control and intervention schools, over nine weeks (one week baseline + eight weeks intervention). Objective: The objective of this process evaluation was to obtain additional data on the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention and trial procedures of the RIGHT TRACKS study. Methods: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted at the end of the pilot study in January and February 2015 (and during the pilot study, in November 2014, in the case of one dropout participant). Participants were from both intervention and control schools and included children, parents, school staff, and other stakeholders. Interviews were voice-recorded, transcribed and theme-analysed. Results: A total of 29 participants were interviewed including children (n = 9), parents (n = 9), Year 5 teachers (n = 6), head teachers (n = 2), school receptionists (n = 3) and wider stakeholders (n = 2). In general, data suggested that participants enjoyed taking part in the RIGHT TRACKS study and engaged with it. However, a number of issues were raised pertaining to recruitment, data collection, and use of incentives. Key recommendations included close collaboration with organisations already working in schools, considering a different range of incentives, and the possibility of running the scheme as a lunchtime activity. Conclusions: Findings support the feasibility and acceptability of an incentive scheme to increase ATS. Additional feasibility work should be carried out prior to a definitive evaluation trial, taking into account the findings and recommendations of this study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100663
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Transport and Health
Early online date11 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


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