Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Environmental Support for Healthy Behavior

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Making changes happen at a community level is usually pretty hard to do, but a community in the Bay Area is off to a good start. Ever heard of a Freikometer? It is a solar-powered tag counter from Frieiker, a Colorado-based program to improve children's health through exercise. Freiker is part "frequent" and part "biker."

This program encourages kids to ride their bikes by placing a tag on their helmet and then posting Freikometers that record the kids helmet biking past it. Each time the child gets a certain number (like five) points, there is a reward. At one school in Los Altos, 550 students have joined in the first few weeks, recording 1,507 round trip rides to school!

The program teaches kids that bikes have no carbon footprint and that every trip counts. In addition, traffic at the school has gone down, making it safer for everyone. Brilliant, just brilliant!
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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