York Region offers tips to walk or bike to school to improve physical fitness and overall health
The Regional Municipality of York encourages children to walk or bike to school to give their day an active jumpstart. Increasing physical activity can make a positive difference to a child’s learning and concentration while in the classroom.
To encourage physical activity, schools from around the world are celebrating International Walk to School Day (IWALK) on October 10, 2012. For more information and to register, please visit: www.saferoutestoschool.ca
According to Statistics Canada, only seven per cent of elementary school-aged children meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines advising at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Suggested activities range from moderate to vigorous and can include jumping rope, playing tag, biking, walking and swimming. If 60 minutes of physical activity at one time is not possible, activity can be accumulated in 10-minute segments throughout the day.
An active lifestyle has many benefits for children, including improvement in school performance, physical fitness, body weight, self-confidence and overall health. It also reduces the risk of preventable health problems including type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Physical activities can be fun and socially stimulating and may help children feel happier throughout the day. It’s important to remember to stay safe while being active by wearing a bike helmet when cycling, paying attention to surroundings and following all road safety rules to prevent traffic injuries when travelling to and from school.
Children can also track the number of steps they’re taking through the York Walks! Library Pedometer Loan Program, which encourages residents of all ages to borrow a pedometer from their local library to walk their way to better health. Contact your local library for more information.
For more information on this or any other public-health related topic, please call York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653, TTY 1-866-252-9933 or visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Lisa Sposito, Community and Health Services, The Regional Municipality of York
905-830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 4106 After-Hours Cell: 905-955-2533 firstname.lastname@example.org