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  • International Walk and Bike to School Day Celebrated in Pima County

    Oct 07, 2014 | Read More News
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    Pima County, Ariz. (October 7, 2014) – Schools in the Tucson metropolitan area are joining people all over the world in celebration of International Walk and Bike to School Day. Join the fun for a great way to combine kid time with a little exercise and enjoyment of our delightful autumn weather. Due to fall breaks, schools throughout Pima County can participate on either Wednesday, October 8th or Wednesday, October 15th.

    The event is held each year to encourage active ways for children to get to school and to improve air quality around schools and neighborhoods. A record number of local schools (58, so far) are expected to participate this year. Many of these schools received special bicycle and pedestrian safety training from the Pima County Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) is also assisting with this popular event by providing incentives for families.Children Walking to School

    “With about 60 schools participating, there is the potential for over 25,000 students and family members to reduce their risk of obesity, enhance their well-being and improve air quality by walking instead of taking the car to school,” said Beth Gorman, Senior Program Manager with PDEQ. Walking, bicycling, riding a scooter or skateboard, and other active modes of transportation improves health through physical activity, helps reduce obesity, improves blood pressure and blood sugar levels, reduces traffic congestion, and provides family members and neighbors with an opportunity to connect and socialize.

    The Safe Routes to School Program in South Tucson is working with Mission View Elementary School to continue their active “Walking School Bus” program. According to Vanessa Cascio of South Tucson, “The Walking School Bus program takes advantage of the South Tucson's cultural richness and strong family bonds. Mission View Elementary really serves as a community hub, and it is the dedicated parents and family members who volunteer at the school regularly who sustain the Walking School Bus program.”

    For more information or to register your school, contact Olga at (520) 724-BIKE or Olga.Valenzuela-Ochoa@pima.gov

    Read on to learn about some of the many reasons to skip that morning car trip.

    Why Walk?

    According to the American Heart Association, research has shown that walking for at least 30 minutes a day can help you:
    • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
    • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
    • Improve blood lipid profile
    • Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
    • Enhance mental well being
    • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
    • Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
    • Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes

    According to the Pima County Health Department:
    • Twenty-seven percent of the population living in Pima County are obese
    • Obesity is one of top health threats to Pima County residents
    • Diabetes is linked to obesity and is the 7th highest cause of death in Pima County

    Additional research indicates that walking:
    • Is beneficial for your brain – (improves memory in seniors, cognitive control and academic performance in preadolescents, and boosts creativity in the young)
    • Could increase life expectancy –(if you do it briskly and frequently enough)