Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"Walk to School" initiative/program/etc.

From Newswise's Back to School issue:

Newswise — National statistics show a reduction in kids’ physical activity along with an increase in poor childhood health and obesity rates. One Winston-Salem elementary school has partnered with Wake Forest University to design a “Walk to School” program, initiated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gary Miller, associate professor of Health and Exercise Sciences, worked with his “Health and the Environment” class students to find safe routes for the children and to personally walk with the children – both to and from school as well as during short exercise breaks at the school. Miller’s program is also providing the children with inexpensive pedometers for immediate feedback. The program is looking beyond Winston-Salem, however: Miller’s students are working on guidelines for how other communities can start their own Walk to School programs, and how to find funding for these initiatives.

Us old folks of course remember the ten-mile walk in the snow with no shoes...but I digress. Most of my X and Boomer peers either walked or biked (or took the subway) at least some part of their childhood. Now walking to school is something that has to be instituted by the heavy hand of the CDC (complete with pedometers) instead of a fun, normal spontaneous thing. I just remember a lot of random interactions that occurred during the walks to and from, now everyone is driven in a car.

These things happen in increments...but we need to keep in mind, is this how we want to live? Do we want to continue to allow oil companies to construct for us a lifestyle where you can't even walk anywhere (e.g., no sidewalks) or won't want to? Notice how these superstore centers have sidewalks, but they're made in such a way you really can't comfortably walk between HOME DEPOT and BORDERS without getting run over. You definitely will need to get in the car to cross the street. What gives? [We were also just driving around suburban Tucson--you can see why I'm a bit crabby]

5 comments:

Oscar said...

True. It's probably one of the reasons why kids become obese at a young age. Their lack of physical activity is most likely caused by technology which offers a more comfortable means of entertainment.

Green Fertility Marie said...

Absolutely! And it's not just obesity...losing out of motor coordination, socialization, sunlights, etc.

Wally said...

It's ironic that instead of giving us a better life, technology change the way we think about life. Because we are already used to dealing with the simple and fast, we often think that there are simple and fast ways to achieve everything.

Green Fertility Marie said...

That's right! I'm doing a lot more slow and simple cooking...a whole mindset change.

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