Friday, October 7, 2016

Public Health Encourages Active Living and Walking (or Biking) to School

Jefferson County Public Health encourages schools, neighborhoods, parents and children to join in events that celebrate active living. One such event, is the annual National Walk to School Day that occurred on October 5, 2016. While this day is nationally-recognized on October 5, 2016, school communities are encouraged to implement Walk (or Bike) to School Day in a manner that works best for them. To gather ideas of how to best implement a Walk (or Bike) to School Day event in your community, go to Colorado Walk to School Day. School teams can organize walking school buses and bike trains that promote and facilitate walking and bicycling to school. 

JCPH encourages everyone to learn more about Colorado Safe Routes to School (SRTS). Colorado Safe Routes to School (SRTS) uses a comprehensive approach to make school routes safe for children when walking and bicycling to school. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) administers Colorado's SRTS program. In Colorado, many communities, parents and schools are fostering a safe environment for their students by using SRTS programs to not only fund education and safe infrastructure, but also to encourage healthy options for our children that are safe for both walking and bicycling. 
Walking or bicycling to and from school can be a first step to changing community culture and creating environments that are more inviting, and safer, for everyone, young and old, to walk, skip or roll to school regularly. Here are some reasons to support walking and bicycling to school:

  • Enhance the health of kids. Increased physical activity can combat a host of health problems facing kids today. 
  • Improve air quality. Replacing car trips to school with walking or bicycling can help reduce air pollution.
  • Create safer routes for walking and bicycling. Sidewalks, education programs and traffic calming measures are some of the ways to improve conditions for young students.

Jefferson County Public Health also encourages schools and families to get involved in the Jefferson County Active Living Coalition.  The Coalition is developing a multi-year plan to address policies and programs to increase access to active living in Jefferson County.

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