Riding a bicycle to school is a great opportunity to be physically active every day which promotes healthy development in children.
That’s according to Dr Stephanie Schoeppe from CQUniversity’s Physical Activity Research Group.
Dr Schoeppe says over 80% of Australian children aged 5-17 years do not achieve the recommended 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day.
“Australian children spend on average about 11 hours per day sitting, e.g. during school hours, TV viewing, indoor play, and car travel,” Dr Schoeppe says.
“Insufficient physical activity and too much sitting contribute to Australia’s high prevalence (25%) of childhood overweight and obesity.
“Encouraging active lifestyles in children is important to prevent a situation where physical inactivity tracks from childhood into adulthood and causes chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.”
Dr Schoeppe’s tips:
- Riding a bike to school provides children a great opportunity to be physically active every day, and it promotes their cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and healthy weight
- Riding a bike to school and other neighbourhood places is especially beneficial in children who do not get sufficient physical activity through organised sports, for example, if they don’t like doing competitive sports.
- Riding a bike is a fun outdoor activity that provides children opportunities to explore the neighbourhood and learn to find their way around.
- Riding a bike to school reduces children’s daily sitting time as it replaces sedentary car travel
- Riding or walking to school is also beneficial for the environment as it reduces traffic congestion around schools