Get kids moving is goal of National Bike-Walk to School Day

Get kids moving is goal of National Bike-Walk to School Day

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Living a healthy life isn't something you do once or twice a week in a gym. Rather, it's best achieved if you incorporate healthy habits in your everyday life, which is the message for National Bike-Walk to School Day.

Walking and bicycling are fun ways for kids to get moving and also gain a little independence.

"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children and adolescents get one hour or more of physical activity each day," states the Walk-Bike to School Day website. "Research suggests that physically active kids are more likely to become healthy, physically active adults, underscoring the importance of developing the habit of regular physical activity early."

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, three Baton Rouge schools will participate in the national event. They include:

  • B.R. Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet
  • Bernard Terrace Elementary School
  • Dufrocq School

Along with health, this event is heavily focused on safety. This goes for the kids and for drivers.

Community Benefits

  • The whole community benefits from efforts to enable and encourage more children to walk or bicycle to school safely. Benefits include:
  • Less traffic congestion.According to the 2011 National Center for Safe Routes to School report, personal vehicles taking students to school accounted for 10 to 14 percent of all personal vehicle trips made during the morning peak commute times (based on National Household Travel Survey Data, 2009). Reducing the number of private vehicles commuting to school can reduce morning traffic around the school. Less traffic congestion also improves conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists, creating a positive cycle—as the community sees more people walking and biking, more people feel comfortable walking and bicycling.
  • Stronger sense of community. The common goal of improving conditions for walking and bicycling brings families, neighbors, school officials and community leaders together. The sense of community also builds as children and parents develop walking and bicycling buddies and chat with neighbors on the sidewalk or path.
  • Safer streets.Communities with higher rates of walking and bicycling tend to have lower crash rates for all travel modes. One reason may be that motorists drive more cautiously when they expect to encounter walkers and bicyclists. More walkers and bicyclists can also improve personal security by providing more “eyes on the street.”
  • Lower costs.Encouraging and enabling bicycle and pedestrian trips reduces costs for the family, community and school district. Families save on gas, communities spend less on building and maintaining roads and school districts spend less on busing. In fact, one school district calculated $237,000 in annual savings.
  • Improved accessibility.Enabling students of all abilities to walk and bicycle to school makes it easier for everyone in the community to get around, including parents with strollers, senior citizens, residents without cars and residents with temporary or permanent mobility impairments.
  • Economic gains. Sidewalks, paths and other investments in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure can increase home values and direct additional traffic to local businesses.

To learn more about National Bike-Walk to School Day, click here.

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