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Riding Bikes or Walking to School Improves Test Scores

Photo:  AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by richardmasonerBiking to school improves test scores

Biking to school improves test scores

Last week, I substituted in a fourth grade classroom on the day a writing prompt was given for statewide standardized testing.  I was reminded of the stress and pressure around such testing.  Anyone who works in public education knows, test scores are a big deal. Funding is tied to test scores. School performance is tied to test scores. Public perception is tied to test scores.

In schools where test scores are low, the entire focus of the curriculum, staff, and school culture revolves around raising test scores. From intervention-based classes to silly contests, standardized testing becomes an obsession. New research suggests there is a simple way to improve these scores: encourage physical activity!

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Bike Education Promotes Cycling to School

Photo by soupboyBike education increases cycling to school

Bike education increases cycling to school

Does your child’s school have a bike education program?  It is absent from my children’s curriculum, but maybe it shouldn’t be given the results in of school-based cycling programs in Wales.  According to Treehugger:

From bike traffic schools in Santa Cruz to bike commuter guides, a little education can go a long way in helping people overcome their fear of adopting two-wheeled traffic. (Let’s not forget the one most important tip for staying safe on a bike either!) But an innovative program in North Wales seems to be way out in front in getting people to rethink the bike. It’s even claiming a three-fold increase in the number of kids cycling to school!

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Study Finds Bikes Only Second to Cars in Childhood Injuries

childhood bike-related injuries second only to carsThe green movement has espoused the use of bicycles as a carbon-neutral form of transportation. Health experts suggest bicycle riding can combat childhood obesity.

A new report reveals an estimated 389,300 children and adolescents 18-years and younger were treated in emergency departments for bicycle-related injuries, making bicycles second only to cars in consumer products that cause childhood injuries.

Even with mandated helmets and safety programs, children are experiencing contusions and abrasions (30 percent), lacerations (30 percent) and fractures (19 percent) mostly to their extremities followed closely by face and head injuries. According to the study, boys are 70% more likely than girls to be hurt on bikes. Tracy Mehan, a research associate at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and author of a new study explains the results:[social_buttons]

While the number of injuries decreased slightly over the 16-year study period, in 2005 an average of 850 children per day were seen in emergency departments for bicycle-related injuries.  The magnitude of bicycle-related injuries each year is evidence that prevention of these injuries needs to remain a priority.

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