Few Children Walk Or Bike Even Short Distances To School

Armen Hareyan's picture

More than a third of children live within a mile of their schools, yet only half of those students regularly bike or walk to class.

By taking a bus or car to school, "the majority of young people are missing an opportunity to increase daily physical activity by being active travelers," said Sarah Martin, Ph.D., and her colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The study appears online and in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Among those least likely to bike or walk to school are students living in the South and in rural areas. Parents with a college education are also more likely to put the kids in the car or on the bus for short trips than those who have a high school diploma, Martin and fellow researchers found.

The findings offer a surprising bit of news for families with low incomes and less education, which tend to be among the most underserved groups when it comes to health disparities, "since active travel helps children achieve higher levels of physical activity," Martin said of the study run by Program Evaluation Across the Nation Using Technology (PEANUT