2012 November; 102(11): 2068–2073.
Results. Each municipality has a board of education in charge of public schools, which considers the geography, climate, and the transport situation to determine the method of commuting. Because there is high availability of schools in urban areas and most are located within walking range of the children’s homes, walking is the most common method. There are different safety initiatives depending on the district’s characteristics. Parents, school staff, and local volunteers are involved in supervision.

Conclusions. The walk-to-school practice has helped combat childhood obesity by providing regular physical activity. Recommendations to cities promoting walking to school are (1) base interventions on the existing network of schools and adapt the provision to other local organizations, (2) establish safety measures, and (3) respond specifically to local characteristics. Besides the well-established safety interventions, the policy’s success may also be associated with Japan’s low crime rate.