Creating better health together with more active places and spaces
Communities designed with safe and convenient spaces for walking and biking make it easier to be active. Appealing features like parks, playgrounds, trails, sidewalks and bike lanes encourage and allow residents to get more physical activity, which can help people avoid type 2 diabetes.
Bike is not only good for your health, it's good for the economy. The bicycling industry in Minnesota produced an estimated $780 million in economic activity in 2014, including 5,500 jobs.1
SHIP is making an impact
Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) grantees are working with community partners in planning processes that advance support for active living. As a result of this work, communities are making it easier for residents to integrate walking and biking into daily routines, whether it’s for transportation or recreation.
SHIP grantees also help by supporting:
- Communities, businesses and universities to obtain Bicycle Friendly designations through the League of American Bicyclists
- Communities to conduct bicycle and pedestrian counts
- Educational opportunities and trainings, including Walk! Bike! Fun! pedestrian and bicycle safety curriculum
Getting more kids on bikes
Our Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) grantees are working with schools to offer the Walk! Bike! Fun! training for kids age 5 to 13. For example, Josh Ramaker, Rice County SHIP coordinator, partnered with the Bike Alliance of Minnesota to bring a bike fleet to Jefferson Community School in Faribault on April 24.
At the training, kids learn about traffic rules and regulations and get to practice on bikes so they develop lifelong safety and handling skills.
“Having the bike fleet available to these children was a tremendous asset that allowed kids to be educated on bikes that otherwise may not have had the opportunity to participate,” said Ramaker. “We plan on continuing this program and hope the kids who participate have as much fun as this group did.”
Ramaker hopes to eventually integrate the curriculum into all of the area schools in so every student can be educated on walking and biking safety.
1Qian, X. Assessing the Economic Impact and Health Effects of Bicycling in Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Transportation. December 2016. Get details here.