Healthy Abbotsford Blog

Bike to School Week Starts on Monday!

Bike to School week is May 14-18. According to a position paper published by HUB: Your Cycling Connection here are some of the reasons why we need to encourage kids to ride their bikes safely to school:

1. A biking to school program has the best potential to enhance the quality of life in the community. Promoting cycling has been proven to improve all aspects of health, community, environment and business. Parents who bike to school with their children get to be sociable.

2. Young people currently face an overall decrease in daily physical activity, poorer air quality, higher rates of childhood obesity, riskier traffic conditions and a loss of independence and skills development. The common denominator is the over-reliance on automobile travel. Getting children out of the back of the family car and on to safe bikeways can substantially improve their quality of life as well as that of their friends and neighbours.

3. Cycling is fun, healthy and inexpensive. Riding allows you to feel active and energetic while reducing stress and anxiety and increases academic potential as the brain works better with exercise.

4. One bike can travel up to 1,030 kilometers on the energy equivalent to a litre of gasoline. Cycling to and from school saves each family over $1,000.00 in transportation costs and over 500 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions each year. These emissions are especially harmful to children.

5. Approximately 10% of children walk to school regularly and less than 2% bike to school regularly. Even among children living within a kilometer of their school, only 25% are regular walkers. Elementary and secondary students should accumulate at least 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity from a variety of activities all or most days of the week.

6. Children, who are limited in their independent mobility, fall behind in personal and social development in comparison to children with more freedom of movement. Research has shown that independent mobility and being able to be outdoors without supervision is essential and that spatial awareness and understanding of how the world is structured is increased by independent travel.

Click here to read the full position paper.

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