Six reasons to walk or bike to school




Remember the thrill of riding a bike for the first time or walking to school on the first day? Give your kids that feeling of joy and independence—a sense of adventure—that doesn’t fade.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, “Obesity affects 18.5 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States—triple the rate from just one generation ago.” To increase the amount of exercise the average child gets, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children and teens get at least one hour per day most days of the week. Riding their bikes or walking to school instead of taking the more convenient and faster carpool can make a big difference in daily activity.

Did you know? National Walk to School Day is coming up on Wednesday, Oct. 10. Here are six reasons to walk or bike to school:

  1. Exercise. Walking and bicycling to school enables children to incorporate the regular physical activity they need into each day while also forming healthy habits that can last a lifetime.
  2. Cleaner air. When families decide to lace up their sneakers or strap on their bike helmets to get to school instead of riding in a car, they help reduce the amount of air pollutants emitted by automobiles.
  3. Safer streets. Communities with more people walking and bicycling tend to have lower crash rates for all types of travel. One reason may be that motorists drive more cautiously when they expect to encounter walkers and bicyclists. More walkers and bicyclists also can improve personal security by providing more “eyes on the street.”
  4. More money in your pocket. Families save on gas, communities spend less on building and maintaining roads and school districts spend less on busing.
  5. More quality time. Parents, children and friends can enjoy one another’s company without the usual distractions.
  6. Community connection. When walking or biking, parents and children get to appreciate things they don’t notice while driving: listening to the sounds of the neighborhood, seeing friends and neighbors and feeling connected with their community.

Find a map of participating schools and resources to help organize an event at WalkToSchoolKC.com.

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