Walking to School Could Reduce Stress - FamilyEducation

Walking to School Could Reduce Stress

August 16,2010
Lindsay Hutton
Did you walk to school as a child? I didn't. I lived far enough away that I was required to take a school bus everyday. I was always so jealous of the "walkers" at school. One of my best childhood friends, Ally, was a "walker"...and oh boy, did I think it was a treat to be invited to her house after school, because that always meant I got to walk home with her. I loved walking home with Ally. I can't quite out my finger on why- maybe it was the freedom I had, getting out of school for the day and not having to wait for my bus in the hot stuffy gym with all the other "bussers". Maybe it was because it was one of the very few adult-free activities I got to do in my elementary-school days. Or maybe, in my unconscious mind, I liked the exercise. Who knows. But I still have some great childhood memories of those afternoons that I got to walk home with Ally. Now, I don't know what it's like these days. Being a 20-something year old with no children, I'm not quite in the loop about how kids get to school anymore. Do kids still walk to school? Or has it been deemed too dangerous/risky in today's society? Either way, a new study has found that walking to school can help ease your little one's classroom stress. Children who walk to school have been found to have lower stress levels and lower blood pressure while taking a test than those who rode the bus of got dropped off by a parent. Well, of course! This makes tons of sense to me. Exercise has long been known to reduce stress and blood pressure levels in people. I'm actually a little surprised it's taken this long to realize that walking to school can be good for a child's mental well-being. So, if your child has the means to walk to school, consider letting him. If you are concerned about the dangers, or if he is too young to walk himself, get a group of children from your neighborhood to start walking to together with an adult chaperone. Your child will most likely like the little bit of extra exercise, and his grades may thank him for it too!