August 31, 2017

The Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation has released some very concerning data relating to the national sales of children’s bicycles.

Sales of children’s bicycles have hit a new low leading to concerns that Australian children are not active enough to ensure their long term health and well-being.

Sales of children’s bicycles reported by the industry fell 22% in the decade to 2017, from 492,000 in 2007-8 to 382,000.  These are the lowest figures since 2003-04 when 431,000 children’s bicycles were sold.

 “The ACPF believes that the declining sales are a simple indicator that we need to do more to make walking and cycling a real option every day for our children,” ACPF spokesperson Stephen Hodge said.

“Seventy-one per cent of children and 92% of young people do not meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity in Australia.

“In areas where safe routes to school exist, kids are happily commuting by foot, scooter and bike with the full support of parents and teachers.

“We call on governments at all levels to focus on safe routes to school for our children as a first step to building a healthier, more engaged and more successful future generation,” Mr Hodge said.

Bike SA certainly echoes that call to all governments – state and local.

In South Australia, we are fortunate to have the state government funded Way2Go Bike Ed program that currently sees 8,000 primary school students receive in-school bike education training.

According to the CEO National of the Heart Foundation, Adjunct Professor John Kelly, a survey of parents found that only 7% said their children did the recommended one hour per day of exercise, which means an estimated 600,000 children are inactive (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013 Health Survey).

“It is vital we encourage daily physical activity for all our children and the daily trip to school is one of the best value investments we can make for their future health,” Professor Kelly said.

Bike SA believes that bicycle education should be a right for all South Australian primary school children.