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 study.
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 researchers said.
Among the other findings:
The research was published July 4 in the journal Pediatrics.
"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.
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