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News Release

Get active by participating in International Walk to School Month

WHITBY, ON September 29, 2014

Durham Region Health Department invites all area schools to participate in International Walk to School Month (IWALK) in October and International Walk to School Day on Oct. 8. IWALK is an annual event that promotes physical activity, safe communities and clean air. It is part of an active transportation initiative called Active and Safe Routes to School, organized by Green Communities Canada.

In support of this initiative, the Town of Ajax, Township of Brock, Municipality of Clarington, City of Oshawa, City of Pickering, Township of Scugog and Town of Whitby have proclaimed October as IWALK Month and Oct. 8 as IWALK Day.

“Walking and cycling to school is an easy and fun way for children and youth to add physical activity into their day,” said Matthew Way, a public health nurse with the Health Department. According to the 2009-2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey, only seven per cent of Canadian children and four per cent of Canadian youth met the recommended 60-minutes of daily physical activity.

“Active transportation to and from places such as school, can contribute to students getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity,” explained Mr. Way. Active transportation can include walking or wheeling (i.e. biking, inline skating, skateboarding and riding a scooter).

“Being physically active can help children to feel happier and improve their overall health and fitness,” added Mr. Way. “Other benefits include having less traffic around schools, cleaner air and safer streets. Parents and caregivers also get to know each other and can work together to help make their community a safe place.”

Schools interested in registering for IWALK should visit saferoutestoschool.ca. For more information on strategies to support physical activity in schools, please contact Durham Health Connection Line at 1-800-841-2729 or 905-666-6241.

Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Glendene Collins – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999

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For more information, please contact Health Department.