A newly released study looked at various programs designed to encourage more students to walk to school, and helps to identify a recipe for success.
"Walking to school is one viable solution to the childhood obesity epidemic, but it takes a village to implement a successful walk to school program, says Amy Eyler, Ph.D., an instructor at Saint Louis University School of Public Health.
"In order to have a successful program, there has to be support from everyone – not just the schools," Eyler said. "It has to be a community effort with involvement from public safety offices, the community and city planners, too."
New Saint Louis University research published in Health Education Research studied nine schools in seven states with pre-existing walk to school initiatives to identify factors that lead to the success or failure of walk to school programs.
The study found that while walking to school is a simple concept, implementing these programs is not. Many factors (policies, infrastructure and financial support) and people (parents, school and community leaders) play a role in the success of walk to school programs."