The Move Utah Summit is the only event of its kind in Utah! The Summit will highlight how transportation and land use decisions directly affect our health and the health of our communities. Hear from nationally renowned speakers, participate in interactive sessions and mobile tours, and network with industry experts and key decision-makers from across the state regarding what you can do to foster more active, healthy and connected communities. Register here today!
What is active transportation? Active transportation is any self-propelled, human-powered mode of transportation such as walking, public transportation, and biking. Active transportation activities may be taking the bus to work, biking to school, and walking to a friend’s house.
Why is active transportation important? Physical inactivity is closely linked to chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, anxiety, and even premature death. A recent study shows that adult Americans are spending over 6 hours a day being sedentary. In Utah, only slightly more than half of adults and 19% of adolescents are meeting the recommended physical activity guidelines. Active transportation is one way to make daily activities a little healthier. However, getting in the recommended physical activity may be difficult due to lack of time, energy, and convenience.
Benefits to active transportation
Health Benefits: Active transportation is a form of physical activity that can improve physical and mental health, increase energy, reduce traffic-related incidents, and lower stress.
Did you know: 25% of Utah adults are overweight or obese. Nationwide the cost of obesity is estimated to be $147 -$210 billion per year.
Mobility Benefits: Active transportation is an inexpensive way to get around for everyone, especially those who cannot drive, children, people with disabilities, and those who cannot afford a car. By having fewer cars on the roads, there is a decrease in congestion and demand for parking, and streets are safer.
Did you know: In 1969, almost half of children walked or biked to school; by 2009, only 13% did.
Social Cohesion and Livability Benefits: Living in walkable communities creates and builds trust and relationships between neighbors, and residential streets are quieter. Active transportation in communities improves mental and physical health and creates social cohesion.
Did you know: Each additional hour per day spent in a car is associated with a 6% increase in the likelihood of obesity.
Economic Benefits: Active transportation can benefit households, businesses, and cities. It can lower transportation costs, increase property values, and results in less demand for roadway repairs.
Did you know: Transportation is the second largest expense for American households, on average, Americans spend 18 cents of every dollar on transportation. 98% of these expenses are spent on automobile purchases, operation, and maintenance.
Environmental Benefits: Active transportation reduces air, noise, and water pollution, and results in energy savings.
Did you know: Cars are less efficient the first few miles, so short car trips pollute more per mile. Replacing short trips with physical modes of transportation like walking or biking can improve air quality and lower health care costs.
Safe Routes Utah is a program that helps students living within 1.5-2 miles of school to walk or bike. Physical activity in kids has been shown to improve academic success, engagement, mental health growth and development, and builds social opportunities. The Safe Routes Utah program can also result in cleaner air due to idling cars and reduced congestion and saves time and money. Visit Safe Routes Utah to find your school’s Safe Routes Map.
Employees who are more physically active have improved morale, less absenteeism, overall better health, and employers have lower healthcare costs. Encouraging and creating opportunities for active transportation in the workplace creates healthier employers and better work environments. Plan out your active commute to and encourage others to do so too.
Active Transportation Plans are strategies to ensure options for biking, walking, and transit in communities. Within the plans you may find recommendations for prioritization on infrastructure improvements, policies, and processes. Visit Bike Utah to see if your community has a plan and find answers on how to start, adopt, and implement an Active Transportation Plan.