Okinawa school children walk less than the rest

The Japan Sports Agency announced results on the national test of physical strength in fiscal 2016. According to the results, the rate of 5th grade schoolchildren who walk to school is the smallest in the nation in Okinawa. And at the same time, the rate of schoolchildren who go to school riding in their parents’ car or by bus was the highest in Okinawa.

The national average of schoolboys who walk to school was 93.4% whereas the rate in Okinawa is 79.3%, while the national average rate of schoolgirls who walk to school was 94.3% whereas the rate in Okinawa is 79.8%. Besides, the national average rate of schoolboys who go to school by parents’ car, a bus, or a train was 6.0% whereas the rate in Okinawa was 24.8%, and the national average of schoolgirls was 6.1% whereas the rate in Okinawa was 27.2%.

There is a tendency that more schoolchildren go to school by cars, rather than walking. The same trend is true for the 2nd grade junior high school students. In Okinawa the rate was 36.7% with girls and 28.9% for boys compared to the national average of 11% and 7.7% respectively.

In the national test of physical strength, they also checked the school children’s exercise habits and the obesity trends. Okinawa’s schoolchildren have the longest exercise time, but the results also show that there are many schoolchildren who exercise only during the physical education classes in Okinawa.

Okinawa Education Bureau calls for schoolchildren and students to walk to school. Representatives of Education Bureau says, “The results may point to Okinawa’s motorized society, however, we would like as many children and students as possible to walk to school daily for their health.”

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