OKLAHOMA CITY (October 3, 2016)Shape Your Future is encouraging students, families, communities and schools across Oklahoma to “walk n’ roll” during the 20th Annual Walk or Bike to School Day on October 5.

Finding easy ways to include physical activity in daily routines is more important than ever. More than one in three Oklahoma kids are obese or overweight, placing them at increased risk for long-term health problems such as type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. They are also at greater risk of becoming obese adults.

“Riding bikes or walking to school is a great way for kids to fit some physical activity into their day,” said Tracey Strader, TSET executive director. “This is one easy step to help kids get their recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Plus, it’s fun for friends and families to get moving and enjoy healthy activities together.”

Last year, over 5,000 students, parents and teachers participated in Walk or Bike to School Day nationally, including hundreds of Oklahomans at 57 registered Walk or Bike to School Day events across the state. To register your event for 2016, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org.

Walk or Bike to School Day promotes physical activity and raises awareness for the need to have walkable communities that are safe for pedestrians, especially children. Not only is Walk or Bike to School Day an easy way for kids to stay active, it also advocates the need for policies and projects that promote safe walking and bicycling, such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, crosswalks and walking trails.

The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) funds Healthy Community and School Incentive Grants to help communities and schools make the easy choice the healthy choice. A portion of this grant funding is used to build sidewalks that encourage walking and biking to school every day of the year.

Shape Your Future is setting the stage with several ways participants can “walk n’ roll” on their way to school on October 5:

  • Start a “walk n’ roll” band. Take the whole family along, and invite friends and neighbors to participate too, making it a neighborhood event.
  • If you live too far from school or do not have access to safe routes, designate a starting point for you and your family to park. Then, get the show on the road and walk or bike from there.
  • Host an event at your school, like a “walk n’ roll” parade. Have it during a school assembly, and let students become “walk stars.”
  • See if your school has a walking school bus program or volunteer to start one. Learn more about how to get going at walkingschoolbus.org.

 The Shape Your Future health communication intervention supports TSET’s strategic plan to improve the health of every Oklahoman. TSET’s program, grant and research efforts focus on reducing the leading causes of preventable death, obesity and tobacco. The organization is focused on creating healthy environments where Oklahomans live, work, learn and play by making the healthy choice the easy choice.

Registering a Walk or Bike to School Day event at www.walkbiketoschool.org provides organizers access to free, downloadable materials, including stickers, certificates and customizable fliers. Events that register on the Walk or Bike to School website will be displayed on an interactive U.S. map, where neighboring communities, media and other organizations can identify who is holding an event in their area.

For more information about Walk or Bike to School Day, visit www.ShapeYourFutureOK.com. Connect with Shape Your Future on social media by liking Shape Your Future on Facebook and following @ShapeFutureOK on Twitter.

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Shape Your Future encourages Oklahomans to eat better, move more and be tobacco free to improve community health. By leading healthy lifestyles, Oklahomans can decrease the number of citizens who fall victim to death and disease while increasing community health, physical activity and quality of life. For more information, go to ShapeYourFutureOK.com.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public’s health. TSET – Better Lives Through Better Health. To learn more go to: www.tset.ok.gov.