Concerns that Australian kids are getting lazier, ditching the bike and expecting mum and dad “chauffeurs” to transport them to and from school and other activities.

It’s a trend that has left health experts “gravely concerned” about the lack of physical activity for younger generations who are missing out on daily incidental exercise, reports Herald Sun.

They shared that an estimated two thirds of five-year-olds and more than half of nine-year-olds are being driven to school every day, making them among the most “chauffeured” in the world.

Sadly this means sales of children’s bicycles in Australia have plummeted in the last decade, down 28 per cent — or 110,000 bikes — since 2007.

Director of the Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University Rosemary Calder said our reputation as a “sporting, outdoor and leisure-loving nation” was at odds with the reality of young people’s activity levels.

“Almost three million children and young people are not doing enough physical activity,” Prof Calder said.

Our youngest was eight before he could ride a bike, but it wasn’t for lack of trying! It just took him sometime to get the knack.

So a new bike is definitely on his Christmas list this year!

Does your child ride a bike daily?

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  • My 9 and 6 year old can’t ride a bike without training wheels still but they use a scooter. They have bikes though.


  • Bicycle sales are down. What about scooters, skateboards, etc? I’ll bet pogo stick sales are down too since the 80s.


  • I think it’s more complicated than this!


  • my kids all have bikes and they ride them around the yard. we try to take them to tracks on some weekends which they love! the adults have bikes too


  • He’s learning but a wet winter has limited us a bit to how often he gets out.


  • School is 40km from here s we mum drive or they bus it however I see a bike rack at the school and there are usually 1 or 2 bikes. Most kids live close and walk or catch the bus here. My three ride at home a lot.

    • Waking is something else that needs to be done too. Good on your kids for walking.


  • This does make me sad and I have noticed the lack of bikes in the community. Children always used to ride bikes and always on the weekends. It is just not something that you see anymore. Riding bikes as a family is a wonderful thing to do and so good for your health too. I love riding bikes, so cost effective too.


  • I come from the Netherlands, a bike country, and can’t understand why there aren’t more bikers on the road. Why don’t the parents take their own bike and bike the kids to school ?
    Living in the Netherlands even as an adult, I used to spent 3,5 `a 4 hours on the bike per day.
    I drop my kids off at school and they walk back and yes, they ride / scooter go on the roller blade daily.

    • My husband is Dutch and used to do the same as you. I love seeing everybody going by bicycle in The Netherlands. Really nice. :-)


  • Sometimes it depends what school you are zoned to and how far from home it is. You could be 1 street out of zone and instead of walking have to catch a bus after a 5 minute walk to the bus stop and a 7 minute ride. At some schools until your child reaches the required year, a parent or guardian has to take the child to the classroom and collect them from the classroom at the end of the day. They will not let the child leave the classroom alone or with anybody not authorised to take the child. Details have to be submitted on a school form for authorisation of another person.


  • Even though my children did have bikes when younger, actually hubby and myself had one too, I am not sure I totally agree with this article.
    If indeed I had young children now there would be no way I would allow them to ride to school or even on the roads …we have more cars and traffic now than we ever had it for me it’s just way to dangerous. A bike in a park or on special cycle ways is fine but roads “no way Jose.”


  • It is a shame to read,bikes are great fun and good exercise!


  • My daughter doesn’t like the bike. She never did. But she uses public transport and walks, so it doesn’t mean she doesn’t get enough exercise.


  • Both adults and kids are becoming too reliant on technology these days. I for one can say that I have not taught my 4yr old daughter to use an iPad nor do I allow regular TV watching. I make sure that she is getting out and playing in the sunshine as much as possible.


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