Helping kids get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day is among the goals of a pilot program that promotes the benefits of “active travel” like walking and cycling.
The Markham Active School Travel program also seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create safer school zones and support healthier communities.
According to Ontario Active School Travel, just 25 per cent of five- to 17-year-olds in Canada use active modes of transportation and many children who could walk, wheel or take the school bus are being driven. That’s a concern because just nine per cent are getting the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity, which is linked to lower body mass index and improved cardiovascular health. Physical activity also supports healthy brain development, which can lead to improved learning and academic outcomes. Mental health benefits include reduced stress, depression and anxiety, and increased happiness.
Read the full article, “Getting more kids walking, wheeling to school”.