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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?

  • Canada's Physical Activity Guidelines can be achieved by walking 30-60 minutes a day which can provide a variety of physical and mental health benefits.1
  • Most people find that walking 2km (20min) is a reasonable distance and amount of time to get to a destination.
  • The average person can walk 1km in 12 minutes, and yet many people use a motor vehicle for trips less than 3km.2
  • People who live in walkable neighbourhoods with destinations that are close, with well-connected streets and adequate green space, have higher physical activity levels.3
  • Walking instead of driving to school, work, or to do errands helps improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.4
  • Walking to places instead of driving saves money on gas and parking expenses.5

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.

Put Your Best Feet Forward!

Find your route and get to your destination by using London’s Bike and Walk Map. 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

 
Give Active Transportation A Go! Logo

 

Pedestrians crossing the street

 

Infographic - Your Own Power

Download (PDF)
Source: City of London, Canada

Walk Score

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

Walk Score →

 

Cartoon graphic of a busy street
 

 
  • 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: October 5, 2018
 

References

1Participaction. (2016). Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. Retrieved on January 19, 2018. Retrieved from
https://www.participaction.com/en-ca/thought-leadership/benefits-and-guidelines
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
4World Health Organization. (2011). Health co-benefits of climate change mitigation - Transport sector. January 19, 2018. Retrieved from
http://www.who.int/hia/green_economy/transport_sector_health_co-benefits_climate_change_mitigation/en/
5Litman, T. (2016). Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits. Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Retrieved on January 19, 2018. Retrieved from
http://www.vtpi.org/tran_health.pdf