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Study: Utah is a good place to let kids walk or bike to school

(Jake Ingle / Unsplash)

SALT LAKE CITY– No matter how much school is ‘in-person’ this year, you still might not want your kids to walk or bike to school instead of taking a crowded school bus. 

COVID has changed so much of how we interact with our environment.  We are seeing so many more kids and adults riding bikes,” says Dr. Brett McIff,  Physical Activity Coordinator with the Utah Department Of Health.  

He talking about the notion that getting your kids off the bus and getting some exercise on the way to school.  And according to a new report, Utah is a great place to do it.

“The Safe Routes Partnership issues a report card every few years on how well we’re doing on the environment and the supports to make it easier to get to school.” 

McIff says the report card shows Utah is among the top states in the country trying to keep students safe. “Some [states] have worked a lot harder on making their environment supportive, some [states] have had priorities where they’ve let them slip… this [study says] Utah is making a real effort to protect children and make Utah a place to be healthy.” 

He says the study took into account funding, policies, and the environments of the routes to school and campus itself. 

This confirmation comes at a good time… a time of COVID-19.  This might be a choice parents make not just to get their kids blood pumping on the way to class, but to remove another potential transmit point for the virus:  The School Bus.

“It was so common in the mid 60’s… We had 50% of the population walking to school.  Right now we’re down to about 11%. ”  McIff would like to see that change.