- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
Drop-off seen in students walking, biking to school
ATLANTA (AP) — Fewer than half of American children who live close to school regularly walk or ride a bike to classes, according to a new study that highlights a dramatic shift toward car commuting by children.
Children in the South did the least hoofing and pedaling, partly because of safety concerns, experts believe.
The issue is important because it’s linked to escalating rates of childhood obesity. Many schools have been cutting back on recess and physical education, observed Sarah Martin, the study’s lead author.
“Kids need to take advantage of the opportunities that do exist for physical activity,” said Miss Martin, a Maine-based evaluation consultant and former researcher with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The article is being published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Miss Martin did the research when she was at the CDC.
Other studies have found that relatively few children walk or bike to school. The numbers have dropped as the population has grown, while the number of schools has declined and the distance to get to them has increased for many families.
In 1969, about 90 percent of children who lived within a mile of school walked or rode bikes to get there. In 2004, just 48 percent did that at least one day a week, the new study found.
Separately, federal statistics suggest the numbers are worse, of course, for children who live farther from school. In 1969, 42 percent walked or cycled and in 2001 (the most recent data available for that group), just 16 percent did.
The figures for those living within a mile of school are based on a spring 2004 nationwide, random-digit-dialed telephone survey of families with children ages 9 to 15. At least 7,400 families were surveyed.
The researchers didn’t ask why so many children were driven to school, but possible explanations include parental attitudes about exercise and concerns about safety, Miss Martin said.
Generally, studies have found that less-educated families exercise less and have higher rates of obesity. But Miss Martin’s survey found that the children of well-educated parents were more likely to get a ride to school. She said in those families, both parents are likely to have jobs and may believe it’s safer and more expedient for one of them to drive their child to school on their way to work.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuclear umbrella
- Echoes of Cold War in Ukraine as Russia tries to rein in former Soviet satellites
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- American missing in Iran was CIA operative who went rogue - Washington Times#pagebreak#pagebreak
- Medicare pays full price for half-empty vials of medicine
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow