Parents urged to use National Walk Safely to School Day on May 17 to kick-start daily exercise habits

GOOD MOVE: It's National Walk Safely to School Day on Friday, May 17. Are your kids getting an hour of physical activity each day? Picture: Sylvia Liber
GOOD MOVE: It's National Walk Safely to School Day on Friday, May 17. Are your kids getting an hour of physical activity each day? Picture: Sylvia Liber

It's National Walk Safely to School Day this Friday, May 17, and parents are being encouraged to use it as the springboard to making walking an everyday activity for their kids.

Sport Australia CEO Kate Palmer said the data was in and Aussie kids needed to do more to help super-charge their health, wellbeing and learning.

"Let's not hide from the fact Australia has an inactivity crisis, so it's vital for the health and future of our nation that we help our children find any opportunities to be more active," Ms Palmer said.

"Data shows 81 per cent of children are not achieving the recommended physical activity guideline of one hour a day. A quarter of Australia children are obese and it will only get worse if we don't intervene now.

"Walking is a simple, accessible and effective way to get children active, but also to help super-charge their learning. It's well researched that sport and physical activity play a positive role in children's educational achievement, helping improve their cognitive development and attention at school."

Ms Palmer is encouraging parents and grandparents to use National Walk Safely to School Day as an exercise to kick-start healthy habits in families.

"Every parent encourages their children to take their first step, let's keep that encouragement going as they continue to grow-up. Maybe consider walking to school together when you can," she said.

"Escape the chaotic school drop-offs and spend some quality time walking with your kids or grandkids to and from school, or park the car a few blocks away and walk part of the way.

"It's good for children, parents and the environment."

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