Walking to school encourages kids to be more active.

Much attention has been paid to the amount of time teenagers spend watching TV, using the computer or playing video games, but a new Australian study shows that 60 percent of teens’ physical inactivity time was spent doing other sedentary activities.

School activities contributed to more than 40 percent of non-screen sedentary time, followed by socializing, eating and passive transport such as riding in a car or bus.

Physical inactivity contributes largely to the obesity epidemic affecting children and teens around the world. Researchers recommend encouraging kids to spend more time exercising and being more active, instead of watching TV and playing video games. They also recommend schools provide active lesson breaks in the classroom and also provide a safe environment for kids to walk or ride their bikes to school.

1. Olds TS, Maher CA, Ridley K, Kittel DM. Descriptive epidemiology of screen and non-screen sedentary time in adolescents: a cross sectional study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2010; 7: 92. (open access)