Director's Column: Safe Routes to School: A Great Way to Get Youth with and without Disabilities More Active
As a youngster growing up in New York City, the primary means of transportation anywhere within a radius of 10 miles or so was on bike. Many others from my generation have expressed the same sentiment: No matter where we went, we were always on our bikes -- to school, the store, the playground, or just riding around the neighborhood. Clearly, the New Age generation of cable TV, the Internet, and video games has delivered a hit to outdoor activities such as bike riding and walking. According to Safe Routes to School (SRTS), when adults are asked the question, "How did you get to school when you were a kid?", the most common answer is "walking." In 1969, approximately 50 percent of children walked or biked to school. Today, that number has plummeted to less than 15 percent, and it will likely stay that way until we have a 'sea change' in how we travel from one point to another in our own neighborhoods. If we are going to turn this childhood obesity epidemic around, we need to start with some type of regular physical activity that can be easily installed into a structured daily routine. A 5- to 15-minute bike ride to and from school is a good way for youth to reach the recommended 60 minutes a day of physical activity.
Read the entire column at http://www.ncpad.org/539/2479/Safe~Routes~to~School~~~A~Great~Way~to~Get~Youth~