In just one generation, the number of Canadian kids walking to school has fallen from 58 per cent to 28 per cent. That trend has inspired Saskatchewan in motion to challenge families to give walking a try during Walk to School Week, October 6-10.
"When we were kids, most of us walked to school, but that's not the case for the vast majority of kids today," says Cathie Kryzanowski, General Manager of Saskatchewan in motion. "That trend is one of the reasons why less than 15 per cent of Saskatchewan kids are meeting national guidelines for physical activity."
Walking or biking to school is one of the easiest ways for kids to build physical activity into their day, and Walk to School Week is the perfect time to try it.
"We see this trend all across Saskatchewan," says Kryzanowski, "and it causes a lot of issues around schools. Parents are concerned for the safety of their children, but by driving, they're actually contributing to traffic congestion that makes it less safe for those who do walk or bike."
Kryzanowski says the Walk to School Challenge is a chance to show families that walking to school is easier than they think and has some great benefits.
"Kids who walk arrive at school relaxed and ready to learn. They build independence, spend time with friends and get some of the 60 plus minutes of physical activity they need every day. And of course, more people walking means safer streets for everyone."
Participating is easy. Saskatchewan in motion is asking kids to walk to school at least once during the challenge. Those who post a Walk to Selfie on the Saskatchewan in motion Facebook page will be entered to win a $250 bundle of physical activity toys and gear.
Schools across the province have also signed up to get kids walking for a chance to win $1,000 for sports and physical activity gear. Students at participating schools will be issued Walking Passports and one lucky student who fills his or her passport by walking five days will win a second $250 bundle of active toys and gear.
Families can visit www.saskatchewaninmotion.ca for more information about the Walk to School Challenge and tips for getting started.
Saskatchewan In Motion