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North Central Health District

COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS

Macon-Bibb County Health Department Challenges Students to Walk to School

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Macon-Bibb County Health Department encourages all elementary schools in Macon-Bibb County to participate in Walk to School Day on Oct. 24. On that day, students are encouraged to walk to school to learn about the health benefits of walking. The first, second and third-place schools that report the most students walking to school on Oct. 24 will win $300, $200 and $100, respectively.

Parents are encouraged to walk with their children to school to show that everyone needs exercise throughout the day. While some families may live a long distance from a child’s school, the health department suggests parking half a mile to a mile from the school, then finishing the trip on foot.

“Every kid needs physical activity as part of their daily routine,” said Macon-Bibb County Health Department Health Educator Camille Watson. “Walking to school is one of the easiest ways parents and children can exercise together every day. A brisk walk isn’t just good for a student’s health. It can help students stay focused in class and improve concentration and memory.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend children age six to 17 participate in at least one hour of physical activity every day. Regular physical activity helps children build muscles and strong bones and decreases the risk or obesity. Without regular physical activity, children may develop chronic illnesses like heart disease or diabetes.

“Learning about the importance of exercise early can help children develop healthy habits that last a lifetime,” said Watson. “Children that play, exercise and eat right will grow into healthy, physically active adults.”

Established in the US in 1997, Walk to School Day helps raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for pedestrians, especially children and teens. The nationally-recognized observance highlights the importance of physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment. The event builds connections between families, schools and the community.

Macon-Bibb County elementary schools wishing to participate in the competition must contact Watson prior to Oct. 15 to register for the event. Watson can be reached for registration or for additional questions by phone at 478-745-0411 or by email at Camille.Watson@dph.ga.gov.

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