Join Walk to School Month
It's never to early to teach your kids the benefits of walking. And it seems there are plenty of reasons why youngsters should be getting about on two feet. A new survey has found that primary school children who do not walk to school are potentially missing out on a range of social, physical and practical benefits.
The YouGov poll, commissioned by the UK charity for everyday walking, Living Streets, has been released to coincide with International Walk to School Month.
The poll asked three generations in Britain what they enjoyed about walking to school. It showed that that children aged eight to 11, who normally walk to school, enjoy meeting their friends (53%) and spending time with family (43%).
Two older generations – those aged 30 to 49 and another group aged 50 to 75 – were also asked what they liked about walking to school when they were youngsters. The poll found that 62% of the 30 to 49 age group and 63% of the 50 to 75 age group most enjoyed meeting friends on the way to school.
All three generations also showed a high recognition of the benefits of walking to school, including improved health and fitness. Other benefits reported on include improved independence and better road awareness.
But research also shows that less than half of primary-aged children now walk to school. The National Travel Survey 2014 found that only 46% of kids make the journey to school on foot. This figure is in stark contrast to the 70% of these children’s parents people who walked to school when they were kids.
Helen Corkery, of Living Streets, said: “It is clear that the simple act of walking to school brings a host of benefits, including spending quality time with parents, grandparents and friends.
"This free, sustainable and healthy action also saves parents money and reduces car emissions, thereby protecting children further.
"Then there are also the lifelong physical, social, mental and practical benefits that walking brings.
"What better way to start the day than with precious family time?”
Recognising the wide-ranging benefits that walking to school bring, the UK Government has set a target for getting 55 per cent of children walking to school by 2025.
This month, you, your kids and their schools can join more than 40 countries during International Walk to School Month. To get involved see Living Streets Walk to School Month