Only one third of children and young people get physical activity in keeping with the recommended minimum of an hour a day. The majority (90%) of less than one-kilometre school commutes are made on foot or by bicycle. While active school commutes account for 78% of 1–3-kilometre trips, the proportion drops to only 45% for distances of 3–5 kilometres. In addition to the length of the commute, age and seasonal conditions have a significant bearing on whether schoolchildren go to school using muscle power or are driven by their parents. In the winter, the proportion of active school commuters is a quarter less than during snow-free seasons. There are considerable differences between schools and regions in terms of smart mobility.

While transport accounts for a fifth of emissions in Finland, traffic volumes are projected to increase significantly in the future. By making smart travel choices, we would be able to reduce emissions from transport. For instance, by travelling a two-kilometre distance on foot instead of a car three times a week, we can reduce our carbon footprint by one per cent. If a million Finns were to do so, this would result in an annual reduction equivalent in size to the carbon footprint of as many as 10,000 inhabitants. Smart mobility covers all forms of travel using muscle power, such as walking, cycling, kick scootering or cross-country skiing. Smart school commuting is also considered to include public transport, because it usually increases the amount of functional exercise as well, while especially reducing the carbon footprint when compared with using a car.

Text: Sitra

More infromation: Liikkuvakoulu.fi/fiksustikouluun (in Finnish)

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