I don’t say much about my work here, in the interest of keeping work life separate from personal life. Most days, I feel fortunate to be in a line of work that is in keeping with my interest in active transportation and health. Other days, I just want to bang my head against the wall . . . .
I recently conducted a survey on walking and biking to school, and I couldn’t believe this response from the parent of a 9-year-old who lives six or seven blocks (residential blocks with sidewalks and low speed limits) from the school:
Reason for disinterest in walking school bus or bike train: “prefer to drive [child] myself”
Sadly, there were other, similar responses. In my mind, this is inexcusable, both from a health and a resource standpoint. There’s a reason we have a huge childhood obesity problem and the attitude behind statements like this play a big part.
I know, I know, there are millions of excuses, some legitimate, but most not. Parents’ fear the risk of very rare events that get lots of media coverage, like kidnappings, and fail to see the much more real risk of a sedentary lifestyle: obesity, type 2 diabetes, and a host of other chronic diseases and health problems.
Don’t want your child to walk alone? Okay, then get off the couch and walk with them. You’ll be doing something good for yourself and your child. And I could cease the head banging over here.