The Canadian Cancer Society, as part of its prevention and health promotion activities, offers elementary schools the opportunity to combine physical activity, fun and safety with the Trottibus walking bus program.
By Véronique Alain, Canadian Cancer Society
Recent data on the health of young people are not very bright: constant increase in obesity, significant decrease in daily physical activity. Thus, according to the report Young people and physical activity: a worrying or alarming situation? from Kino-Québec, "young people today, compared to those of thirty years ago, are 40 % less active and juvenile obesity has increased by 50 %"
For 40 years now, the habit of walking on the way to school has been lost
In 1971, 80 % of pupils traveled on foot or by bicycle to get to school, today less than 35 % of children actively attend school. Often for lack of time or for safety reasons, parents prefer to use the car to bring children to school, but many of these little ones live within a kilometer of the school (80 % within 1.6 km, according to the organization Quebec in shape). The Canadian Cancer Society has therefore joined forces with other partners working in the field of active transportation and healthy lifestyles in order to develop a pedestrian bus network in Quebec.
Inspired by similar initiatives in Canada and around the world, the Trottibus allows elementary school students to walk from home to school in a safe and fun way. By means of predetermined schedules, routes and stops, adult volunteers, called “Grands-trotteurs”, accompany the children to school.
As evidenced by the video of the Trottibus project, there are now hundreds of children in Quebec who walk, rain or shine, the streets of their neighborhood to get to school.
Active transportation, in addition to increasing daily physical activity, promotes youth autonomy and socialization, two elements that contribute to academic success. It is also one of the five recommendations given to the MELS by a group of experts in physical activity.
So when will your first trip aboard the Trottibus?