International Walk To School Month – October 2021

International Walk to School Month is observed in October by schoolgoers and their caretakers worldwide. There are innumerable benefits of walking and using it as a means of transport whenever possible is a great way to develop a healthy habit and introduce exercise into our lives.

History of International Walk To School Month

As simple as the activity of walking may sound, it is one of the best forms of exercise. It improves stamina, confidence, mental health, aids in weight loss, and reduces the chances of cancer, diabetes, and so much more. The health benefits are endless.

Approximately four billion years ago, when upright walking first came into being, it opened up a world for humans like no other. It not only served as a form of cardio but was also the gateway to other life experiences. A walk in the park with your pet, a walk through a museum on a date, a walk around tourist attractions on a trip, a walk up a hill for a gorgeous sunrise view — walking is good for the mind, body, and soul.

In addition to that, our decision to walk directly benefits the environment too! With fewer vehicles being used, the negative impact on the environment is significantly reduced with less noise, less pollution, and fewer harmful emissions leading to climate change.

In 1997, the Partnership for a Walkable America introduced the first National Walk Our Children to School Day in Chicago. Communities in the U.S. have continued to celebrate every year since then and slowly other countries joined in. In 2006, the interest in Walk to School Day was so widespread across the globe that the International Walk to School Committee established October as International Walk to School Month, which has been celebrated worldwide ever since.

International Walk To School Month timeline

1997
Americans Walk to School

Emulating the U.K.’s walk to school events, National Walk Our Children to School events commence in the U.S.

2000
International Walk to School

With over 40 countries joining the effort, International Walk to School day is established.

2006
International Walk to School Month

An increase in public interest leads to the declaration of October as International Walk to School Month.

2012
International Walk (and Bike) to School

Owing to the success of Walk to School Day, the first National Bike to School Day takes place.

International Walk To School Month FAQs

When is International Walk to School Month?

International Walk to School Month is observed throughout the month of October. It is celebrated worldwide. 

Is there an International Walk to School Day?

Yes, it falls on the first Wednesday of October every year. There is also an International Walk to School Week.

Why is it better to walk to school?

The advantages of walking to school are multifold. There are benefits for your health, the environment, and even your academic performance that measures alertness!

International Walk To School Month Activities

  1. Walk to school

    This one’s a no-brainer. If you are a schoolgoer or know someone who is, leave the car behind and walk to school with them!

  2. Inform local schools and policymakers

    Reach out to local schools and decision-makers and tell them about International Walk to School Month and what they can do to improve its success such as road safety events.

  3. Get involved in fundraisers

    Organize fundraisers and donate to organizations working to make the streets safer for children. This will in turn encourage more children to walk to school.

5 Facts About Walking That We Bet You Didn’t Know

  1. It’s a natural antidepressant

    Walking acts as an instant mood booster and is also good for overall mental health.

  2. The weirder, the better

    Walking sideways actually burns more calories than walking straight.

  3. It’s anti-aging

    According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, walking can make you look and feel younger.

  4. It can make you richer

    According to a survey in “The Physician and Sportsmedicine,” walking regularly can save you up to $330 a year in healthcare costs.

  5. It can take you around the world

    An average person walks 65,000 miles in their lifetime, which is equal to walking three times around the Earth.

Why We Love International Walk to School Month

  1. It promotes exercise

    This month reminds us of the importance of exercise and its numerous benefits. It is a sign for us to start young and develop healthy, active habits.

  2. It directs our attention to road safety

    With the desire to let our children walk to school comes the need to ensure the roads are a safe place for them.

  3. It inculcates a sense of independence

    For older kids, encouraging them to walk to school either by themselves or with friends gives them a feeling of independence from a young age and that they are trusted to look after themselves.

International Walk To School Month dates

YearDateDay
2021October 1Friday
2022October 1Saturday
2023October 1Sunday
2024October 1Tuesday
2025October 1Wednesday
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