Active transportation

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The meaning of active transportation

Active transportation is using your own power to get from one place to another.

This includes:

  • walking
  • biking
  • skateboarding
  • in-line skating/rollerblading
  • jogging and running
  • non-mechanized wheel chairing
  • snowshoeing and cross-country skiing

Active transportation benefits our:

  • health
  • society
  • transportation system
  • environment
  • economy

This is because active transportation:

  • gives us an opportunity to be physically active on a regular basis
  • is accessible to Canadians and increases social exchanges
  • reduces road congestion
  • contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • saves money on gas and parking

Designing communities to support active transportation

The focus of the Chief Public Health Officer’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2017 is building communities that support an active, healthy lifestyle. Neighbourhoods can be designed to encourage active transportation that is both practical and recreational.

The report, Mobilizing Knowledge on Active Transportation introduces programs and approaches from across Canada that do this effectively. The report recognizes that designing communities to support active transportation fosters physical activity and produces a variety of public health benefits.

Designing communities to support active transportation means building communities with a mix of areas for different purposes:

  • residential
  • commercial
  • educational
  • employment

It means connected streets and good access to destinations.

How to build active transportation into your life

Getting outside and moving around is a good way to find out if your community is designed to support an active lifestyle.

Make the best use of what your community has to offer.

  • Think twice about using your car for every trip. Could you walk or use your bike instead?
  • Dust off your bicycle. Cycle to work when the weather permits.
  • Trade in your dress shoes for running shoes. Strap on a backpack and walk all, or part of the way to work or school.
  • Instead of driving your kids to the park, walk or make it a family outing on your bikes.

If you are thinking about moving, think about the transportation options available to you in the new locations:

  • Is this neighbourhood “pedestrian friendly?”
  • Could you walk to do most of your small errands?
  • How far away is the nearest school for your child?
  • How far will the distance be to those places you regularly need to reach?

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