Children who actively commute to school are less likely to be overweight or obese, study suggests
What is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century as regarded by the World Health Organisation?
Which is why new findings from a recent study based on 2000 primary-age schoolchildren are so important.
What was found? Children who regularly walk or cycle to school are less likely to be overweight or obese than those who travel by car.
Led by researchers at the University of Cambridge, the study is the first ever to assess the impact of physical activity on childhood overweight and obesity levels by simultaneously relating two of the main types of extracurricular physical activity: daily commuting to school and frequency of participation in sport.
With the limitations of using BMI as a measure, researchers instead measured body fat and muscle mass, assessing how these were correlated with physical activity.
And the results were significant. Children who actively commuted to school had lower body fat, therefore were less likely to be overweight or obese.
The study’s first author Lander Bosch notes that the findings suggest interventions to promote regular participation in sports and active commuting to school could be promising for combatting childhood obesity.
If you want to learn more about what was discovered, click here.