Saturday, October 29, 2011
CNN is reporting that in parts of California children are participating in a "walking school bus." What's a walking school bus? It is a bunch of children walking to school together, carrying a "bus" that picks up other students along "stops" on the way to and from school. The article points to the very real fact that much of today's infrastructure has has physical activity engineered out of it. Combined with the ready availability of cheap calories, it's small wonder that the overweight/obesity rate there has topped 60%. The rate is not too different in Tennessee. The kids walk around half a mile to and from school every day. Calorie-wise, that would be around 100 or a bit fewer burned each and every day. Time spent walking per child is around 20 min. Could schools in Tennessee do something similar? How far or close to children live to their schools? In terms of time requirements, let's not forget that there are substantial traffic jams at schools each morning and afternoon, so depending on the distance, walking can actually be the faster option, not to mention how such can free up time for parents who otherwise might send their children to and from school by car.