Need another reason to register your school for Walk + Bike Day? Here's one: walking and biking is good for the health and well-being of our kids. Read about the results of a recent study demonstrating that physical activity reduces stress levels amongst school children.
In a study conducted in a behavioral research facility by the University of Buffalo, 20 children took a virtual automobile ride to school which included sitting in comfortable seating and watching a simulated suburban neighborhood pass by. The other 20 children participated in a one-mile treadmill walk while similar depictions of a suburban neighborhood were presented.
After resting, children who rode to school had an increase of 11 heartbeats per minute when asked to complete a basic cognitive test, while children who walked to school only had an increase of 3 heartbeats per minute during that same test. "Walkers" also had a systolic blood pressure three times lower than that of their "rider" counterparts. Children who "walked" to school also had significantly lower perceived levels of stress during the test than those children who "rode" to school.
Walk + Bike Day provides a great opportunity to show children how fun (and easy!) it can be to practice good habits that are healthy for both themselves and the environment. Signs of cardiovascular disease are seen in children at a young age, so it's never too early to teach children the many benefits of physical activity. Both children and communities will be safer with decreased automobile traffic near schools and increased opportunities for kids to engage with one another and their neighborhood. Together we can show kids that physical activity is a fun, rewarding experience that comes with countless benefits!
Check out the full article about the University of Buffalo study here. If your school is ready to take the first steps toward healthier children and communities, sign up for Walk + Bike Day!