Park the Car and Pitter Patter!

Last Updated on: 5th April 2022, 12:47 pm

With warmer weather on the horizon and gas prices skyrocketing, it’s a great time to start leaving your car behind and lacing up your sneakers instead. We’re not suggesting that you park your car forever, but to consider some occasions when you could use active transportation instead of driving.

Every family’s situation is different. Some families use active transportation once a week as they walk home from school together on a Friday afternoon. Other families walk or bike to school every morning. Some families drive part way, park 5 or 10 minutes away from school, and walk the rest of the way together. No matter how active transportation fits into your lifestyle, there are countless benefits associated with it.

Walking to school is a great way for children to be active, and health benefits include:

  • helping students achieve the recommended 60 minutes of moderate-vigorous activity per day and 1-2 hours of light physical activity per day
  • improving physical and mental health
  • increasing attention span and academic performance, reducing anxiety, and building self-esteem

When more people walk to school, it means that there are fewer cars on the road, reducing congestion in the school zone, which:

  • makes it safer for everyone in the community
  • leads to more walkable spaces
  • reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions

Using active transportation helps people get to know their neighbourhood and builds a sense of community.

  • As families walk to school or to the bus stop, they build relationships with each other and the neighbours that they see along the way.

Walking to school builds lifelong habits, as active transportation becomes routine. 

  • Studies show that children who walk, cycle, or ride a bus for transportation, at least some of the time, are likely to grow into young adults who walk, cycle, and use transit.
  • By walking to school, children build positive attitudes toward active and sustainable transportation – benefiting themselves and the planet! 

We know it may not work with everyone’s lifestyle to make every trip an active one, but even making one trip a week using active transportation can make a big difference!

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