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The St. Johns Independent

Complete streets encourage physical activity

Michigan is known for automobiles, so it’s no surprise that the vast majority of roadways are designed solely with vehicles in mind.

While great for motorists, most are not pedestrian-friendly, lacking street crossings and sidewalks. By shear design, roadways tend to be inaccessible, especially to children who cannot safely bicycle along or across them. This causes children to miss out on opportunities for physical activity and independence.

One recent survey found that while 71% of adults walked or rode their bicycles to school as children, a mere 17% of their own children currently do the same. Complete Streets provide children with more opportunities to walk, bike, and play in a safe environment.

As we all know, physical inactivity greatly impacts obesity in children. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, children and adolescents should get 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Too often, a child’s own environment makes it difficult to integrate physical activity into daily routines. An active infrastructure provides opportunities for children to safely walk and bike to school, stores, parks and other destinations.

For more information in how to become involved in Complete Streets in Clinton County, please contact Sara Thelen, Health Educator with the Mid-Michigan District Health Department, at 989-227-3140 or sthelen@mmdhd.org.

Category: News In Brief