Port Augusta students to walk safely to school

WALK: Port Augusta's Willsden Primary School will take part in National Walk Safely to School Day next Friday. Photo: Shutterstock
WALK: Port Augusta's Willsden Primary School will take part in National Walk Safely to School Day next Friday. Photo: Shutterstock

Children from across South Australia will put their feet first and journey towards a healthier future next Friday by participating in National Walk Safely to School Day, including in Port Augusta.

Willsden Primary School is one of the schools across the state participating in the annual event which raises awareness of the health, road safety, transport and environmental benefits that regular walking - especially to and from school - can provide for the long-term wellbeing of children.

The day also encourages primary school aged children to build walking into their daily routine, by walking to and from school, not just on Friday, May 14, but every day.

Pedestrian Council of Australia chairperson and chief executive officer Harold Scruby said physical inactivity was a major risk factor for many chronic diseases that could affect kids at different stages of their life, including mental illness, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

"We really need teachers, parents, carers and the community at large to get behind this event and its objectives, the best exercise for all of us is regular walking," he said.

"Children require at least 60 minutes huff and puff physical activity every day.

"We should encourage them to include walking at the beginning, during and end of each day - if you can't walk all the way, use public transport and get off the bus, train, tram or ferry a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way to school."

The day also encourages parents and carers to walk more, reducing dangerous traffic congestion around schools, better use of public transport and the road safety message.

"Until they are 10, children must always hold the hand of an adult when crossing the road," Mr Scruby said.