Currently only 19 per cent of NSW school children reach the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
These statistics could be improved if more children walked, cycled or scooted to school.
The Heart Foundation continues to urge the NSW government to provide more investment in programs and infrastructure that would encourage active travel to school – walking, riding, cycling, scooting or catching public transport.
With more than one in five kids in NSW overweight or obese, one of Premier’s Priorities is reducing overweight and obesity rates of children by five percentage points by 2025.
As part of these initiatives, the Healthy Kids, Get Well, Get Active (NSW) is a “one stop shop” of current and credible information, resources and support materials about healthy eating and physical activity.
Some resources and tips are available on their website, including the following:
- Active Living for Families
- Walk with your child to the local shops or to and from school
- Go for a family walk after dinner
- Children’s Active Travel
- Resources for parents/carers and communities (pdf booklet)
- Active Travel Action Plan template (Microsoft Word template download)
- Find out if the venues you are looking at have facilities to support active travel eg facilities for parking scooters and storing gear like helmets.
Walk Safely To School Day (Annual event)
Now in its 20th year, National Walk Safely to School Day (WSTSD) is an annual event when all Primary School children will be encouraged to walk and commute safely to school. It is a Community Event seeking to promote Road Safety, Health, Public Transport and the Environment.
Get involved by organising an event at your school this month!
Streets Ahead 2008-2011. Program evaluation report. Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Melbourne (Page 20).
During class time, students were asked to draw two pictures titled:
- ‘This is a map of my neighbourhood’, and
- ‘How I got to school today and what I saw on the way.’
It appears that encouraging or supporting children to walk to or from school provides them with a more connected and detailed understanding of their neighbourhood. This may in turn increase the likelihood that they will move about it independently.
What other ways can we promote walking to school?
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