Are We Driving Our Kids to Unhealthy Habits? Results of the Active Healthy Kids Canada 2013 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth
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This article examines the time trends in patterns of school travel mode among Canadian children and youth to inform the Active Transportation (AT) indicator of the 2013 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. The AT grade was assigned based on a comprehensive synthesis of the 2000 and 2010 Physical Activity Monitor studies from the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute and the 1992, 1998, 2005, and 2010 General Social Survey from Statistics Canada. The results showed that in 2013, AT was graded a D, because less than half of Canadian children and youth used only active modes of transportation to get to and from school. The proportion of Canadian children and youth who used only inactive modes of transportation for school travel increased significantly from 51% to 62% over the last decade. Children and youth from larger communities and those with lower household income levels were significantly more likely to use AT than those living in smaller communities and those in higher income households, respectively. In conclusion, motorized transport for school travel has increased steadily over the last decade across Canada. Regional and socio-demographic disparities should be considered in efforts to increase the number of children using AT.
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