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Active school travel

Not many children and youth are using active transportation to get to and from school. More are being driven. We have to ask ourselves: Are we driving our kids to unhealthy habits?

From the ParticipACTION Report Card:                

  • Only 41% of 5-17 year olds use active modes of transportation
  • 46% use inactive modes (e.g., car, bus); and
  • 13% use a combination of active and inactive modes of transportation to travel to and from school.

Walking and cycling/wheeling to and from school is one of the easiest ways for school-aged children to get regular daily physical activity. It also helps reduce the time spent sitting/being sedentary throughout the day. 

Parents and caregivers also benefit from taking time to walk or wheel with their children. Choosing not to drive to get children to and from school means fewer cars in school zones. This results in less harmful air pollution where children are.

Making time for children and youth to walk, bike or wheel to school becomes a healthy habit that can last a lifetime. It can also lead to children arriving on time, feeling refreshed and being energized for the school day.

Schools can take part in School Travel Planning (STP). STP aims to get more students walking and wheeling (cycling, scootering etc.) to and from school. This is done by looking at barriers (e.g., safety), and opportunities (e.g., reducing air pollution), within each school community. A plan is created to address the barriers and opportunities. It is important that parents and caregivers are involved in STP if a school taking part in the process.Public health staff will work with school communities to support the STP process. 

The Simcoe Muskoka On the Move Initiative is underway in our region and it uses the STP approach.  Check out On the Move at to learn more.

Learn more about how your child’s school can support physical activity as part of the daily routine.

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