Walk More in Four Competition Encourages Students to be More Physically Active

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The Student Neighborhood Access Program (SNAP) is, once again, sponsoring Walk More in Four, in which local schools such as Cleveland Elementary are participating.

The idea behind the Walk More in Four program is to help encourage children to get out more and associate with other children and families by safely walking or biking to school at least three days a week for four weeks in September. This program started on September 6 and is ending this Friday, September 30.

Students that participate in the program are encouraged to mark their progress each week on the online or downloadable progress chart, signed by a parent or guarding once completed. When these forms are submitted, the student then becomes eligible for a prize drawing. These prizes have, in the past, included bikes, scooters and helmets.

Students that are unable to walk to school due to distance are still encouraged to participate by practicing safe habits while walking or biking in their own neighborhood.

Two recent studies have found that walking to school is associated with a higher overall physical activity count in students throughout the day.

Walking and biking to school has also been known to control weight and blood pressure, encourage bone, muscle and joint health, reduce the risk of diabetes and more.

Improved psychological welfare and better academic performances have also been attributed to higher physical activity in children as well as helping to contribute in the developmental health of children. Some children today have been known to have less independence than their parents did. This lack of independence can negatively impact social behavior development. Also, driving a child from home to school can sometimes limit the child’s opportunities to interact with their neighborhood as well as other children.

West Elementary in Tooele won the 2015 Walk More in Four competition. The three schools with the highest combined participation will win $500, $250 and $100, respectively. This money will be used by the school’s safety committee. The top school will also win the Golden Tennis Shoe traveling trophy.

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