HOBART primary school children will make the important steps towards a healthier future by participating in National Walk Safely to School Day on Friday 23 May 2014.
National Walk Safely to School Day is a community initiative, which aims to raise awareness of the health, road safety, transport and environmental benefits that regular walking, particularly to and from school, can provide for the long term health of children.
The annual event, which is now in its 15th year, encourages primary school aged children to walk to and from school, not just on Friday 23 May, but every day.
Chairman and chief executive officer of the Pedestrian Council of Australia Harold Scruby said unless teachers, parents, carers and the community generally got behind this event and its objectives, the outlook for Australia’s children was not good.
“The childhood obesity epidemic has reached such critical levels in Australia, that one in four children are now overweight or obese,” he said.
“Unless there are significant changes to physical activity and diet, this is expected to reach one in three by 2020.
“Children require at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity – and regular walking is the best exercise for all of us.”
Children are encouraged to lead a more active lifestyle by including a walk at the beginning, during and end of each day.
The event also promotes improved diets, positive environmental action, better use of public transport with reduced car-dependency and important road safety messages.
One of these messages is that children aged 10 years or younger must always hold an adult’s hand when crossing the road.
To support the day and encourage ongoing healthy behaviour, a free and interactive National Walk Safely to School Day App is available to help keep the motivation up within families and schools.
It measures the distances children walk, their average speeds and allows schools to view scoreboards of their students’ walking achievements.
To find out more visit www.walk.com.au/wstsd/