Stepping towards a healthy future

PE teacher Sarah Cardamone and principal Mark Miatello with Holy Cross Primary students. (supplied)

Students from Mickleham’s Holy Cross Catholic Primary School took an important step forward, participating in the National Walk Safely to School Day on Friday, May 10.

In its 25th year, the Pedestrian Council Australia ran initiative continues to raise awareness to the health, road safety, and environmental benefits of walking or using other active modes of transport as an alternative to getting to and from school for children.

Pedestrian Council Australia chief executive Harold Scruby said the day helps to promote physical activity as the country battles with rising obesity levels.

“The extremely disturbing childhood obesity epidemic continues to affect 1 in 4* children at critical levels across Australia,” he said.

“The best form of physical activity for all Australians is walking regularly. Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. We should encourage them to take a walk before school, during and at the end of their day.”

He encourages parents to continue the practice of having their children walk to school outside of the annual initiative and to do it as often as possible, but also urged that all children under 10 must be closely accompanied by an adult when crossing the road.

He says morning exercise has a favourable impact on children’s cognitive and academic performance.

Walk Safely to School Day also encourages positive environmental action, better use of public transport with reduced car- dependency and encourages parents and carers to walk more, reducing dangerous traffic congestion around schools.