Walk Your Kids to School

According to a Houston study, physical activity seems to increase in children participating in the Walk to School Bus program.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine were conducting a study among 4th-graders from 8 low-income schools in Houston, Texas, to evaluate the impact of a "walking school bus" program on children's rates of active commuting to school and physical activity.

"In the United States, children are not meeting the minimum goal of one hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on most days of the week," said Dr. Jason Mendoza, assistant professor of pediatrics-nutrition at BCM. "One of the ways that has been promising for improving children's physical activity is getting them to walk or bike to school."

The walking school bus is a group of children led to and from school chaperoned by adults. Researchers concluded that the program improved children's active commuting to school and daily physical activity.

Parents' outcome expectations and family acculturation influenced the program's effects on children's active commuting, which underscores the importance of parents and the family's sociocultural environment on children's health-related behaviors.

"This study shows us that a Walking School Bus program can increase children's active commuting to school, which has implications for physical activity and injury prevention since walking with an adult decreases children's risk of pedestrian injury," said Mendoza.

Read more about this study here.