SMDHU Encouraging Kids to Walk to School
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, in collaboration with several community partners, has launched simcoemuskokaonthemove.ca, a new section on its website designed to promote active school travel as a safe and healthy choice for students and families. The launch coincides with International Walk to School Month in October.
Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says “We know that children in Simcoe Muskoka are not getting enough physical activity to be healthy,”
On the Move is an initiative whose goal is to support children to reach the goal of at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily by using active forms of transportation in a safe and sustainable way for their school journey.
The web section is an easy to use, one stop shop for information and resources on how to get kids to travel to school in an active way. There are even some ideas for families who live in bus zones, or for parents on those days when they have to drive their kids to school.
The benefits of active school travel extend beyond increased physical activity. When more students are walking or wheeling, school zones see a decrease in traffic congestion making them safer. Fewer cars also improve air quality
The web section includes a link to information about COVID-19 and returning to school to help parents with their decisions about their child(ren)’s school journey. Choosing to walk or wheel to and from school is a great way to get exercise, fresh air and social time while still physically distancing from others.
To learn more about active school travel, visit the health unit website at simcoemuskokaonthemove.ca
For more details here is Stephanie Hahn of Green Communities Canada overviewing the School Travel Planning process that is reigniting the culture of walking and wheeling to school.