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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Percentage of American and Japanese Children that Cycle or Walk to School


In the United States, just 13% of children walk or ride a bike to school.

That information comes courtesy of Bicycling magazine, which quotes the advocacy group Safe Routes to School (SRTS).

Back in 1969 when we were entering elementary school in Philadelphia - and walked to John S. Jenks Elementary School - the percentage of Americans who walked or cycled to school was 48%.

Suburban sprawl is the number one culprit, and perhaps nervous parents a distant second.

Here in Japan, the percentage of elementary and junior high school students who walk (cycling is forbidden; however, according to one comment below this is not the case at all schools) to school is 100%. Some disabled students or those in rural areas may use alternate means of transportation, but in urban Japan all elementary school students walk to school in groups made up of students from the area in which one resides. Groups are led by a sixth grader.

We have no data on Japanese high school students, but most appear to cycle or take the bus, train, or subway.

Obesity among Japanese young people remains rare.

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1 comment:

lotuslovers said...

You wrote that cycling is forbidden but both my daughters cycled to their junior high school.
They also had to wear the obligatory helmet when cycling.
Yes, walking to school is a good thing but every now and then there are tragic traffic accidents when a car plows into a row of children walking to or from school.