Health unit encourages health & active travel to school

New website includes tips on how to increase child's physical activity

The weather is turning chillier, but conditions are still great for kids to walk or bike to school.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has launched a new section on its website dedicated to promoting active school travel as a safe and healthy choice for families.

Most children in the region aren’t getting enough physical activity to be healthy, says Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

One of the easiest ways to increase a child’s physicals activity is by adding daily walking and biking to places they need to get to, such as school.

Dr. Gardner says children who walk and wheel to school can benefit from improved mental health, such as increasing their ability to cope with stress and improved learning and attention.

The benefits extend beyond increased physical activity, as walking to school helps with traffic congestion in school zones, making them safer.

The web page is described as a one-stop-shop for information and resources on how to get kids to travel to school actively.

It includes ideas for families living in bus zones or parents on days they have to drive their kids to school.

To learn more about active school travel, visit the health unit website at or call Health Connection weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.