“Over the past 20 years, the percentage of children travelling to school by car has doubled, almost 40% of primary and 20% of secondary age children are now driven to school each day. Most of these journeys are less than two miles."
Southend on Sea Borough Council
Virtually every month we receive reports issued by Public Health England, the National Health Service or similar organisations regarding the appalling state of the nation’s health. One of the biggest concerns is about obesity levels in children and the state of their mental health.
To highlight these issues and concerns the Walk To School Week takes place annually. Here are 10 good reasons why you should Walk To School
10 reasons why walking to school is good for you
1. It is a great way to increase your child's physical activity, along with your own (the recommended daily activity level for children is 60mins). The added benefit of walking is that it helps develop skills such as balancing, hopping, jumping whilst improving cardiovascular, bone and muscle fitness.
2. It improves sleep – regular daily exercise and exposure to natural light helps promote sleep at night. A fit and healthy body needs its sleep.
3. Helps mental health by boosting your child's mood and self esteem. This means that your child will arrive at school in a calmer state of mind able to cope with the day ahead.
4. This in turn will improve academic performance and increase grades.
5. Gives children good life experience and an opportunity to be independent. Allowing them to think for themselves and make their own decisions, a key attribute for future development.
6. The walk to school will give you the chance to talk to your children without the distractions of the home. This is an ideal opportunity to enforce some road safety messages.
7. You will have no more hassle from parking near to the school! However, if you live outside the school catchment area and have to drive, then park a reasonable distance from school and walk the rest of the way.
8. The reduced traffic will increase safety around school, reduce road congestion and pollution
9. Walking will reduce cost of running the car. It's frightening to consider that 20% of rush hour traffic is attributed to the school run!
10. According to a survey by Childwise, 48% of children would like to walk or cycle to school if they could.
So #CanTheCar and walk to school this week, you never know what you might see!