News

The Benefits of Walking to School

By 20th May 2018 No Comments

It’s Walk to School Week from the 21st to 25th May, and we want to encourage you to get out of the car and walk with your children to school. Here’s our 5 top reasons for walking:

1. Road Safety

Use the walk to school to teach your children about road safety. Skills they learn now will be invaluable for the rest of their lives.  The school run would also be safer for everyone if there were fewer car traffic around schools. Axa have published a report drawing on over six years’ data which showing 85,814 UK child injuries on roads within a 500m radius of schools, the equivalent of 1,190 a month.

2. Community

It’s better for your community. Fewer cars mean less pollution, less congestion and reduced parking problems around the school. According to Living Streets organisation their annual survey shows where 70% of primary school children in the 1970s used to walk to school, today that figure is 48%, the lowest ever. Such a decline impacts on children’s health, air quality, traffic congestion and road safety. By contrast 67% of Dutch children either walk or cycle to school. The amount driven by car in Holland is just 4%!

3. Health

Childhood obesity is rising fast and children need at least an hour of exercise each day. Why not walk to school to tackle those issues? The benefits of walking are seen as follows:

  • Building strong bones and muscles.
  • Decreasing the risk of obesity.
  • Lowering risk for diabetes and metabolic disease.
  • Lowering risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Improving mental health

After a good cardiovascular workout, studies show children who arrive at school are more alert, focused and perform better in their academic education. Those driven to school have poorer concentration levels and over a three year period have been shown to be as much as 6 months behind academically. Exercise helps our brains make better use of oxygen thereby reducing mental fatigue and sharpen your thinking. 

4. Cost

You’ll spend less on petrol. When the car’s engine is cold it is less efficient so short journeys to school and back are particularly costly. One in three children driven to school live less than a mile from their school.

5. Time

Walking to school could save you time. Have your measured it? By the time you’ve loaded your car, driven and parked, walking could be just as quick – or even quicker. If your school runs a walking bus then you can wave goodbye to your children from a nearby safe location, saving valuable minutes in the morning.

There’s more information about the benefits of walking to school on the Living Streets website. And, it’s not just about walking to school, May is National Walking Month, and we fully support the Walk This May campaign.

 

 

Claire Turner

Author Claire Turner

More posts by Claire Turner

Leave a Reply