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Active Transportation and Walking

Active transportation (AT) is any form of human powered transportation that gets you to and from work, school, shopping, appointments, recreation, visiting friends, etc. Walking is an excellent way of fitting physical activity into your daily life and is the most popular form of AT used. It is simple, efficient, requires little equipment and is possible for most people to use when distances are less than 5km.

Walking allows you to experience and appreciate your environment in new ways and to make discoveries that are not possible when using other types of transportation.

 

Did you know?

  • Both brisk and leisurely walking can help you meet Canada's 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, support healthy ageing and can provide a variety of physical and mental health benefits.1
  • The average person can walk 1km in 12 minutes, and yet many people use a motor vehicle for trips less than 3km.2
  • Walkable neighbourhoods with destinations that are close, well-connected streets and adequate green space, can increase physical activity levels of people who live there.3,4,5
  • Walking instead of driving to school, work, or to do errands helps improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.4,6,7
  • Walking to places instead of driving saves money on gas and parking expenses.8

Want to walk to work? Try active commuting!

Leave the car behind – get some exercise and help the environment.

Learn how workplaces can support active commuting.

Active commuting is good for health, the environment and for business!

Want your child(ren) to walk to school? Try active school travel!

The Active & Safe Routes to School partnership has many programs and safety tips to get you started.

Community Design and Walking

Walking as a mode of AT is supported by healthy community design which influences transportation choices.

 
Give Active Transportation A Go! Logo

 

Pedestrians crossing the street

 

Walk Score

Is your neighbourhood walkable? Use Walk Score to find out. 

Walk Score →

 

 

 

Put Your Best Feet Forward!

Find your route and get to your destination by using London’s bike routes and walking trails. Take advantage of the Thames Valley Parkway (TVP) multi-use pathway system that stretches over 40km, extends into many neighbourhoods and is accessible to all ages and abilities.

Tips to Get Started

Plan ahead:

1. Find your Route

2. What to Wear

  • Consider the weather forecast and plan what clothing and footwear, hat, sunscreen, etc. to wear.

3. Lighten Up

  • Decide what and what not to carry – change of clothes, food and drink, hygiene products, etc.

4. Safe Travels

  • Use a route with that is used by others, has sidewalks and walking paths as much as possible.
  • Know and follow the rules of the road.

5. Enjoy your Walk!

  • Pick a route that you will enjoy.
  • If you like company, travel with a walking buddy.
 
Date of creation: May 15, 2015
Last modified on: May 3, 2022
 
 

References

1Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. (2021). Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. Retrieved from
https://csepguidelines.ca
2Canadian Council for Health and Active Living at Work (1998). Walk and Roll: A Guide to Active Transportation to, from and at the Workplace. (out of print)
3Thielman, J. et al. (2016). Residents of highly walkable neighbourhoods in Canadian urban areas do substantially more physical activity: cross-sectional analysis. Canadian Medical Association Journal Open, 4(4): E720-E728. Retrieved on January 19, 2018. Retrieved from
http://cmajopen.ca/content/4/4/E720.full
4BC Centre for Disease Control. (2018). Healthy Built Environment Linkages Toolkit: making the links between design, planning and health, Version 2.0. Vancouver, B.C.: Provincial Health Services Authority, 2018. Retrieved from
http://www.bccdc.ca/pop-public-health/Documents/HBE_linkages_toolkit_2018.pdf
5Public Health Agency of Canada. (July 20, 2018). The Chief Public Health Officer’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada, 2017: Designing Healthy Living. Retrieved from
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/chief-public-health-officer-reports-state-public-health-canada/2017-designing-healthy-living.html#a5_1
6World Health Organization. (2011). Health co-benefits of climate change mitigation - Transport sector. Retrieved from
https://apps.who.int/iris/rest/bitstreams/96000/retrieve
7Daniel, K. & Perrotta, K. (2017). Prescribing Active Travel for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet: A Toolkit for Health Professionals. Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). Retrieved from
https://cape.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Active-Travel-Toolkit-Complete.pdf
8Litman, T. (2016). Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits. Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Retrieved from
http://www.vtpi.org/tran_health.pdf