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[ISDH]Build Exercise into your Child's Day by Participating in Walk to School Day
Start Date: 10/4/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 10/4/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS—Wednesday, October 7, is Walk to School Day and State health officials are encouraging Hoosiers to get their walking shoes on and participate. Last year, 48 Indiana schools registered waking events with the National Center for Safe Routes to School. Forty-six Indiana schools have registered to participate so far this year. 


“For students that have the option, walking to school is a great way to incorporate a little more exercise in their day and form healthy habits,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “For those longer routes to school, or those where children may need an adult to walk with them, consider starting a tradition with your children and walk them to school.”


To find the safest routes to school, the National Center for Safe Routes to School recommends looking for the following:

·        Places to walk or bicycle that are separated from traffic. Choose sidewalks or paths where possible and avoid traffic.

·        Places to cross, if necessary. Minimize the number of street crossings and avoid multi-lane roads.

·        Pedestrian- and bike-friendly drivers. Look for places where drivers are paying attention, yielding to pedestrians and respecting speed limits.

·        A comfortable feeling. Avoid routes where there may be loose dogs, crime, vacant buildings or poorly lit streets.


Walk to School Day began in 1997 in the United States as a one-day event to build awareness of the need for safe, walkable communities. Today, more than 40 countries participate in the annual event and celebrate the entire month of October as International Walk to School Month. 


The Walk to School Day events emphasize the importance of increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, and concern for the environment. The events also help to strengthen connections among families, schools, and the community. While walking is emphasized, bicycling is also encouraged. Walking or biking to school helps children meet the 60 minutes of daily physical activity recommended by health officials.


Reducing obesity in Indiana is a top priority of the Indiana State Department of Health. In 2011, 30.2 percent of Indiana high school students were considered overweight or obese. Research shows that physical activity can help improve academic achievement (including grades and standardized test scores) while creating healthy life habits for children.  So get up and get going this Monday by participating in Walk to School Day!


To register your walking event or see a list of participating Indiana schools, visit For information on making schools healthier places to learn, visit


To visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website, go to Follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at 



Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Family & Health
  • Agency Name
    Health, Indiana State Department of

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