"Children today are simply not getting enough physical activity, contributing to growing rates of obesity and obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes. Safe Routes to School projects make it safer for more children to walk and bicycle to school, which will help address this obesity crisis among children by creating increases in physical activity." Safe Routes to School National Partnership

  • Over the past 40 years, rates of obesity have soared among children of all ages in the United States, and approximately 25 million children and adolescents—more than 33%—are now overweight or obese or at risk of becoming so.
  • Kids are less active today, and 23% of children get no free time physical activity at all.
  • The prevalence of obesity is so great that today’s generation of children may be the first in over 200 years to live less healthy and have a shorter lifespan than their parents.
  • Today, approximately one-quarter of health care costs in the United States are attributable to obesity, and health care costs just for childhood obesity are estimated at approximately $14 billion per year.
  • People living in auto-oriented suburbs drive more, walk less, and are more obese than people living in walkable communities. For each hour of driving per day, obesity increases 6 percent, but walking for transportation reduces the risk of obesity.
  • Walking one mile to and from school each day is two-thirds of the recommended sixty minutes of physical activity a day. Plus, children who walk to school have higher levels of physical activity throughout the day.

The following are more resources connecting health benefits of Safe Routes to School:

Centers for Disease Control

National Center for Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Danish StudyLink between exercise and concentration.

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