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National Walk Safely To School Day
On Friday 18 May, Primary school aged children across Australia will put their feet first, and journey towards a healthier future by participating in National Walk Safely to School Day.
National Walk Safely to School Day is a community initiative that aims to raise awareness of the health, road safety, transport and environmental benefits that regular walking (especially to and from school) can provide for the long term well-being of our children. Apart from the physical benefits, regular walking also has a favourable impact on their cognitive and academic performance.
The annual event, now in its 19th year, encourages primary school aged children to build walking into their daily routine, by walking to and from school, not just on Friday 18 May, but every day.
Harold Scruby, Chairman and CEO of the Pedestrian Council of Australia said: “Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for so many chronic diseases that can affect our kids at different stages of their life, including mental illness, cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
“1 in 4 children in Australia are overweight or obese, and it is expected that numbers will reach 1 in 3 by 2020. We really need teachers, parents, carers and the community at large to get behind this event and its objectives, The best exercise for all of us is regular walking. Children require at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity. We should encourage them to include walking at the beginning, during and end of each day”, he said.
The national initiative also promotes improved diets (by asking schools and P&Cs to Host a Healthy Breakfast), positive environmental action, better use of public transport with reduced car-dependency and the vitally important road safety message: “Until they are 10, children must always hold the hand of an adult when crossing the road”.
It also encourages parents and carers to walk more, reducing dangerous traffic congestion around schools, while minimising the risk of Australian children developing heart disease and diabetes.
Contact: Harold Scruby (0418) 110-011
WHAT: National Walk Safely to School Day
WHEN: Friday 18 May 2018
WHERE: In all primary schools across Australia
WHY: This national initiative aims to encourage children to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle by simply including a walk at the beginning, at lunch time and at the end of each day. The event also promotes reduced car-dependency, greater use of public transport, cleaner air, improved diets and road safety to primary school children throughout Australia.
HOW: Encourage children to build regular walking in their daily routine by walking to, during, and from school
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