moving from point
A to point B
Active transportation part of healthy living
Being active is an essential part of a child’s healthy
lifestyle. Physical activity is about more than exercise and
sports: it’s also about making good choices about how to
Walking, cycling, rollerblading, and even skateboarding—
are good examples of active transportation, which is
anything that takes you from point A to point B and gets the
body moving and the heart pumping.
Many kids tend to be less active than the generation
before them. Canada’s Physical Activity Report Card reports
that between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of Canadian
children and youth using active transport to and from school
decreased to 24 per cent from 28 per cent. In 1986, 53 per cent
of children walked to and from school.
Your children may not fully understand the benefits of
active transportation now, but they will later in life. Active
transportation (and active living in general) is one of the
best ways to get and stay healthy. It reduces the risk of many
diseases and, most importantly, it increases mental and
Communities and parents also play a role in encouraging
active living. Communities can encourage active
transportation through organized programs such as walking
buddies, school travel plans, and “walking school buses.”
Public policy plays a role too, by encouraging walkable and
accessible neighbourhoods built for everyone from age
eight to 80.
Parents are perhaps the most important link in the chain,
as setting a good example for children is a powerful way to
get them to be more active. Parents who make safe, healthy
and active choices are saying to their children: “This is
something you can do too.”
— Brandon Beasley
Quick tips for active safety
1. Supervision is the key to keeping children safe during active
transportation. Kids under the age of nine need an older child
or adult with them when walking to and from school (or a
nearby playground or soccer field). Children are usually
10 to 14 years old before they have the skills to ride a bike
on their own.
2. If your children are cycling, rollerblading or skateboarding,
make sure they have the right equipment such as a helmet,
knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards.
3. Talk with your child about what to do if approached by a
Active transportation such as walking and cycling increases physical
and mental well-being.