Walk to School Day, which is observed annually on the first Wednesday in October, is aimed at building awareness of road safety of school-age children and promotes students to get some exercise while enjoying the weather. This day began in the U.S. and in 2000 it expanded to become an international day. Every year, more than 40 countries and thousands of schools participate in events of International Walk to School day.
Logo of official walk & bike to the school website.
According to the statistic, compared with past generations, children today less walk and bike to school. This trend coincides with the decrease in physical activity for youth, and in turn, an increase in childhood obesity. According to the most recent state-by-state data from the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), the national obesity rate for youth ages 10-17 in 2016-17 was 15.8 percent, which ranged from 8.7% in Utah to 26.1% in Mississippi. Also, we can find some results form the statistic data of the obesity rate among U.S high school students. According to the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), 14.8% of high school students had obesity and an additional 15.6% were overweight. Due to this heavy situation, National Walk to School day encourages students to develop a strategy to increase physical activity among youth and a healthier lifestyle.
Study of childhood obesity rate among youth ages 10-17 from 2016 to 2017. Photo from National Survey of Children’s Health.
Study of high school obesity rate in 2017. Photo by Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.
Except for promoting students to have good health awareness, National Walk to School day works to build safe routes to school-age students and teach pedestrian safety sills. According to the data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2009, 203,000 children ages 15 and younger were injured in motor vehicle crashes; 15,000 of those injured were pedestrians. The Transportation Research Board reports that 25,000 children are injured every year in school zone accidents. Therefore, priority must be placed on making it possible to walk safely, especially in neighborhoods and school zones.
Post regarding National Walk to School day. Photo by Social Studio
let’s find out how events can be a powerful catalyst for improving safety for people walking and bicycling! Start your movement and walk and bike to your school!