Jenny Willott MP encourages local pupils to stride out this Walk to School Week

April 25, 2013 4:29 PM

Jenny Willott,MP for Cardiff Central, is encouraging children and parents toswap cars, buses and trains for a ticket to stride during Walk to School Week.

Walk to School Week (20-24 May) is an opportunity for parents and children across the UK to try walking to school. Along with Walk to Work Week (13-17 May), Walk to School Week forms a part of National Walking Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the benefits of walking.

Living Streets runs the national Walk to School campaign, and the national charity says parents find the journey to school less stressful, their petrol bill goes down, their children perform better at school and that they, and their children, feel healthier and fitter.

Walking to school regularly is not only a fantastic way to encourage an active lifestyle, it is also a great opportunity to teach your children vital road safety skills and ensure they are alert and ready to learn at the start of a new day.

Teachers even report that those pupils who walk to school are more attentive once they reach their desks.

Over the past couple of decades, the number of children walking to school has fallen sharply. In 2011, 49 per cent of primary school aged children and 38 per cent of secondary school aged children walked to school, down from 62 per cent of primary and 48 per cent of secondary school aged children in 1991.

However Living Streets' Walk once a Week (WoW) scheme bucks the trend. It helped nearly 6,800 schools and over 1.9 million children and young people get walking across the UK last year - with a recent project seeing a rise of 32% in children walking.

Jenny Willott said:

"Walking is key to fighting childhood obesity, but it can also be beneficial to children in other ways, helping them learn vital road safety skills, to interact with their local environment and to become 'streetwise' and develop independence."

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Living Streets said:

"This May, we want to get the whole of the UK buying a ticket to stride. As part of National Walking Month we're urging families up and down the country to give walking a go during Walk to School Week."

"We think you'll be amazed at what a difference a short blast of fresh air can do for you. It's free, green and easy and above all it works. We need to encourage children to get walking now and set healthy habits for the future."

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