ABC Science, April 13
Author: Dani Cooper
Poor urban design and safety fears are critical factors in determining whether children walk or cycle to school, say Australian researchers. In the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Dr Clare Hume and colleagues report the proportion of Australian school children walking to school dropped from 37% in 1985 to 26% in 2001.
At the same time the proportion of children cycling to school is now so low it is statistically too insignificant to be considered on its own, says Hume, of Deakin University's Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research.
Hume says the decrease in what is known as active commuting has occurred at the same time as obesity rates among children have increased.