WEDNESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Children who live in
low-income homes, with single-parents and in cities are more likely
than other children to walk or cycle to school, according to a new
The analysis of the transportation habits of nearly 7,700
Canadian children also found that the use of "active
transportation" such as walking and cycling to get to and from
school increases until they reach ages 10-11, and then declines.
Instead, kids at that age start to rely more on public
transportation, school buses and cars, the University of Montreal
Among the other findings:
- Children who had many friends in their area were more than
twice as likely as other children to increase their walking or
biking to school over two years.
- Teens were less likely to walk or bike if there were no traffic
lights or pedestrian crossings on their route to school.
- Kids who had friends or older siblings to walk or bike with
were more likely to do so.
The research was published July 4 in the journal
"The study is important for the well-being of children because most children are not meeting physical activity guidelines needed for optimal growth and development," study author Roman Pabayo said in a university news release. "Active transportation to school represents an affordable and easy way to incorporate physical activity in the daily routines of children."
A separate study by the researchers found a significant
association between children's weight and whether they walk or
cycle to school.
"If we can gain a better understanding of the factors that influence how children get to school, we may be able to encourage more families to bike or walk to school, leading to lifelong healthy behaviors," Pabayo said.
The Nemours Foundation has more about
kids and exercise.