The school run is the stress of parents everywhere. But smart parents turn it into something valuable for them, their children, and their communities. Here are a few reasons teachers like you should be encouraging students and pupils to cycle to school.
Cycling good for the environment
One of the biggest causes of climate change is carbon emissions from fuel. Cycling cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions and reduces air pollutants, making for a more enjoyable and healthy place to live and school. The youngest generation is the most clued up about environmental and global wellbeing.
Cycling is good for fitness
We all know that children and teenagers need to be active and get some regular movement in. But our sedentary lifestyles mean that fewer and fewer are getting the recommended 5 x 30 minutes a week. A short cycle to school gets their hearts pumping, their legs moving, and the lungs full. Physical fitness has also been associated with better educational attainment, which is just another great reason to give it a go.
Cycling is good for mental health
Exercise isn’t only good for physical health, but mental wellbeing. It stimulates serotonin, the feel good chemical, and is associated with better memory and cognitive function - so cycling could actually make you and your kids smarter. It also helps with sleep, which plays a big role in how we feel emotionally.
Cycling reduces congestion
We all know that school gates get busy, and at rush hour it can be difficult to move through a town. Reducing the number of cars on the road is the only way to do this. And actually by not driving you might be able to go faster, as you’ll avoid those queues by sticking to cycle lanes. Congestion and parked cars are one of the key causes of accidents, so do your bit to help reduce them.
Cycling helps local knowledge
With head down in the back of the car it can be difficult to gather knowledge about local geography. By cycling down the streets in your community, and seeing landmarks, young people get a better sense of where they live, which means they are more likely to engage with it, and will be safer.
Cycling saves money
With petrol prices rising, doing the school run by car is an increasing financial burden on families. With an average tank around £100, by reducing the miles you’re reducing the outgoings. The only fuel that is needed is pedal power!
Cycling is fun
Cycling to school together is a great way to bring families and friends together and encourage them to do a fun activity. Why not start a cycling club at your school, where a different teacher leads a group who live nearby? They and you will have loads of fun.
Joe Reddington cycles his children to school. He says “it’s so important that they get physical activity, but that that physical activity is framed as useful, rather than in the many toxic ways that society frames it. Active travel is wonderful for our bodies and our environment, so as a family we make it part of our lifestyle. And we enjoy that special time as a family far more than we would if we were stuck in traffic arguing.”
So what do you think? Why not make cycling to school your next project?