With debates about childhood obesity, the sugar tax and environmental pollution in the news it is a fitting time to be encouraging children to get active for Walk to School Week 2018. Every year Living Streets, a charity that encourages every day walking sets this challenge for schools across the UK to take part. In 2017, the annual event encouraged over 400,000 children and their families to participate.
With the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies recommending an average of 60 minutes of exercise for a child aged 5-18 per day, walking cycling or scooting encourages healthy growth development for your children and saves you time from sitting in traffic jams!
Top facts about active travel
- Not only does it promote physical health but mental health too! Research shows that just 15 minutes of cardio can lead to a decrease in negative moods in younger children.
- It can increase concentration levels up to 4 hours, based on a 2012 study in Denmark.
- It encourages children to develop skills including, time management, decision making and responsibility.
And it also allows children to learn key life road safety skills improving special awareness and making them less vulnerable as road users. Encouraging children to appreciate their surroundings can also support them with mindfulness practice.
But how can we get under 5s active who aren’t quite able to do their school run alone yet? We’ll soon be launching the first ever, augmented reality active travel and road safety programme, to support the whole family to get moving. The Children’s Traffic Club includes tips and fun activities you can use to get active whether it’s scooting cycling or walking. The programme has been teaching key life road safety skills for 25 years with an overall impact of 49% reduction in pedestrian casualties, 20% reduction in casualties involving children emerging from behind parked vehicles and 12% fewer overall road casualties than non-members and it’s not about to stop there.
So next time you’re doing the school run, think about trading those keys for some trendy trainers and maybe an umbrella or some sun cream if the British weather can make up its mind!
Make your pledge for Walk to School week here. For more information on the Children’s Traffic Club follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Let’s go!