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Walk and Roll to School Events Promote Public Health

Every May and October, students, families, and school staff organize events to celebrate the joys of walking or rolling to school in recognition of National Bike to School Day and National Walk and Roll to School Days. HIPHI is proud co-facilitate in a statewide hui committed to providing school administrators, school staff, students, and parent organizations with the resources necessary to host successful events. 

Two schools we supported, Waikīkī Elementary (O‘ahu) and Kalāheo Elementary (Kauaʻi), were two schools that successfully challenged and helped students, families, and staff to walk and roll to school. Some students live within an easy one-mile walk to school. Other families live farther away, and they drive their keiki to school. 

On Hawai‘i Island, we plan to partner with Keaukaha Elementary and Waikoloa Elementary and Intermediate to have a Walk and Roll to School event to host kick-off events in October. Similar to the schools on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu, these two schools are located within a one-mile walk to school. The majority of the students walk or bike to school on normal days. 

Walk and Roll to School events encourage students and families to park a mile or so away from the school so they can decrease traffic around the school and also get exercise before the school day even starts! Hundreds of students participated in these events, and many report they continue walking, biking, or rolling after the Walk and Roll to School event. 

Overflowing bike rack at Waikīkī Elementary on Bike to School Day – Spring 2023.
Overflowing bike rack at Waikīkī Elementary on Bike to School Day – Spring 2023.

Why is walking and rolling to school such a significant public health issue?

Physical Health: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend that students engage in 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. Exercise helps children build strong bones, improve cardiovascular health, and maintain a healthy weight. 

HIDOE encourages students to be physically active throughout the school day. By walking or biking to school, children are better able to achieve the recommended daily physical activity that is essential for their overall health and create a healthy habit that influences their adult lives. 

Academic Performance: Walking or biking to school can help improve academic performance. Studies have shown that physical activity helps children concentrate better, learn more effectively, and retain better memory. Children can start their day with a clear and focused mind by walking or biking to school. 

Environmental Health: Driving to school contributes to traffic congestion and air pollution, negatively impacting the environment and our health. Walking or biking reduces the number of cars on the road, which improves air quality and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. 

If you want to learn more about Walk and Roll to School events, please complete our outreach form here.

Jessica Thompson

Jessica Thompson

Program Manager: Safe, Accessible and Inclusive Mobility (SAIM)
Kealoha Madriaga

Kealoha Madriaga

West Hawai‘i Tobacco and HEAL Coalition Coordinator
RoAnn Viloria, MPH

RoAnn Viloria, MPH

Maui, Molokai and Lānaʻi HEAL Coalition Coordinator
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