Canadian parents, by and large, walked to school when they were kids. Not so much for their own children. Fewer kids these days walk or bike to school. Active Healthy Kids Canada, in their recent ‘report card’, gives Canadian kids a D- on this physical activity.
While 58% of parents walked to school when they were children, only 28% of their own kids were doing the same today. “That’s a reduction of 50% in one generation,” said Dr. Mark Tremblay, chief scientific officer of Active Healthy Kids Canada. “High numbers of kids are being ferried to destinations within walking or biking distance.”
How to reverse this trend? Kelly Murumets of ParticipAction says parents need to get involved. Kids who are able to travel on foot or use pedal power can travel in groups with volunteer adults. “Kids are getting physical activity, they have social time, they’re with other kids, they’re safe because they’re supervised, (and) some of the parents who do work are able to make their way to the office,” Murumets said.
If kids walked for all trips less than one kilometer in distance, it would translate, on average, to 2,238 additional steps each day – or around 15 to 20 minutes of walking, Active Healthy Kids Canada noted.
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