Physical Activity

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Active Safe Routes To School

With a steady rise in the use of the car, and a strong decline in kids getting to and from school and after school activities on their own steam, we have to ask ourselves:  Are We Driving Our Kids to Unhealthy Habits? (VIDEO)

Did you know that distances up to 5 km are traveled more quickly door-to door by bicycle than by car?

Also nearly everyone who spends their day at a school aims to arrive and leave within the same two ten minute periods each day, causing chaos, slower driving times for cars and dangerous situations for children.  Not to mention this traffic congestion of idling vehicles in and around school zones adds toxic air pollution where children are gathering.

  • Routes to schoolActive transportation, which includes walking and cycling/wheeling to and from school, is one of the easiest ways for school-aged children to get regular daily physical activity and reduce the time spent sitting and being sedentary throughout the day.  Parents and caregivers can benefit too from this active and social time with their children.
  • Managing time to allow for the walk or bike ride to school will become a healthy habit that leads to children arriving on time, refreshed and energized for the school day.
  • Active & Safe Routes to School aims to reduce traffic congestion around schools through strategies such as School Travel Planning, provides opportunities to teach children road safety skills, and empowers parents to advocate for best routes to schools.

Watch this video to hear about what’s happening locally to support Active & Safe Routes to School.

Source: The Environment Network www.environmentnetwork.org/active-and-safe-routes-to-school.html

School Travel Planning

School Travel Planning (STP) is a term used to describe a comprehensive approach to increasing local support and commitment to Active & Safe Routes to School by engaging stakeholders that include school boards, municipal transportation planners and engineers, public health, police, parents, students and school staff. Stakeholders assess the barriers to active school travel and use this knowledge to develop and implement action plans. The involvement of local stakeholders is an important step to ensuring the sustainability of active school travel activities. Benefits include increased physical activity, reduced traffic congestion, improved air quality, enhanced neighbourhood safety and a greater sense of community.

Read the 2013 summary of School Travel Planning in Action in Ontario: Successes and Lessons in Active and Sustainable School Transportation (PDF).

Learn more about Programs and Resources.

Take a look at our STP flyer and contact us.  Public health staff are available to work with school communities to facilitate and support each step in the STP process.

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