Celebrate Walk and Bike to School on October 7th! This global event involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day. To think it all began as a one-day event back in 1997, and over time has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school. This event has seen a lot of success. For example, more than 14,800 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have been awarded federal funds for Safe Routes to School activities.
Check out a few of the many reasons to celebrate more kids walking or biking to school.
There’s a feeling of joy and independence associated with riding or walking to school. Also, the adventure never ends! When walking or biking, parents and children get to appreciate things they don’t notice while driving. It’s also a great way to see friends and neighbors and feel connected with the community
Walking and bicycling to school allows children to incorporate the regular physical activity they need each day while also forming healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Regular physical activity helps children build strong bones, muscles and joints, and it decreases the risk of obesity.
Children are recommended to get one hour or more of physical activity every day. Research suggests physically active kids are more likely to become healthy, physically active adults.
Obviously the more families who participate in this event means there’s less air pollutants emitted by automobiles. One tip, if possible try to find a route to school with less traffic volume so your child’s exposure to air pollution is reduced.
Less Traffic Congestion
Reducing the number of private vehicles commuting to school can reduce morning traffic around the school. Less traffic congestion also improves conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists, creating a positive cycle—as the community sees more people walking and biking, more people feel comfortable walking and bicycling.
Join in on the fun and bring visibility to the benefits of getting to school under your own power.
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods