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STATE HEALTH DIRECTOR ENCOURAGES WALKING TO SCHOOL 

Date: 10/6/2010 

Number: 10-075 

Contact: Al Lundeen (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO 

Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), today encouraged California students and their parents to walk or bicycle to school in honor of Walk to School Week (October 4-8).

“Walk to School events remind children and adults that walking or bicycling can be easily incorporated into daily living,” Horton said. “And, adult participation addresses safety concerns.”

Public health experts recommend that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week.

“Sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits are major contributors to the current childhood obesity epidemic,” Horton added. “As a result, nearly 40 percent of California’s school children are overweight or obese.”

Health leaders say Walk to School Week is part of a month-long campaign throughout the United States and other countries. It’s an ideal strategy to increase physical activity and potentially decrease the likelihood of obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions.

Walk to School activities also provide opportunities for communities to address safety concerns around schools.  Parents often cite safety as a reason they don’t allow their children to walk or ride their bikes. Bicycle and pedestrian traffic injuries are a major threat to California’s school age children.

Reducing the risk of injury includes teaching children age-appropriate walking and bicycling skills, reminding drivers to be extra vigilant in watching for young walkers and bicyclists, and identifying and eliminating hazardous conditions along school routes.

For more information on Walk to School, visit the California Walk to School Headquarters.

 
 
Last modified on: 10/6/2010 4:54 PM