I am
Show me:
Show me:
Turn the school run into a walk
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Turn the school run into a walk

Media Release - 10 September 2020

This Walk to School Safely Day (Friday September 11), the Heart Foundation and Walking SA are urging children and parents  to change their habits and get more active as they travel to and from school.

Heart Foundation CEO SA Imelda Lynch is encouraging families to put their health first by seeking out more active ways to do the school run and leave the car at home.

The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that children get at least an hour of physical activity a day, but only one in five Australian children are currently meeting the guidelines.

 “This is a concern because physical activity is good for children’s physical health, it reduces the likelihood of childhood obesity, and it is also important when it comes to their mental health, academic performance and concentration in school,”  Ms Lynch said.
Walking, cycling or even scooting to and from school are some of the easiest ways to increase children’s activity levels.
National data shows that over the past 40 years, children walking and cycling to school has declined from 75 percent to 25 percent.

In South Australia on average 52 percent of school children live within two km of their school, but only 20 percent actively travel to or from school.

“This figure is worrying but could be improved if the school run was used as a way to incorporate  more activity into the daily routine,” Ms Lynch said.

Parents and caregivers will also benefit if they join their kids walking to school.

“Physical activity can help reduce the risk of heart disease in adults, which is the single leading cause of death in Australia, claiming 48 lives every day,” Ms Lynch said.

Walking SA Executive Director, Helen Donovan, said children who walk to school are happier, healthier, less stressed, and more attentive during the school day. Walking to school also offers the opportunity for strengthening social bonds with family and peers through the incidental chats that naturally occur. These healthy behaviours, when established in childhood, are more likely to be sustained into adulthood.

“Parents want the best for their kids. One of the ways to develop healthy, happy, confident kids is to build a walk into every day,” Dr Donovan said.

“Governments can help by shaping the urban environment for safe, enjoyable walking on connected networks. This requires more investment in pedestrian and cycle paths, safe crossings, and lower speeds on local roads,” she said.

The Heart Foundation is calling for the government to develop and fund a State-wide Walking Strategy. The strategy will aim to get more people walking more frequently including a focus on ensuring safe routes for children to walk to school.

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join the Heart Foundation community. Together, we can make a real difference for Australian hearts. ...

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Our range of clinical and patient support resources are available for you to use in your daily practice....

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Help make heart disease history!

Help make heart disease history!

Help make heart disease history!

48 Australians die from heart disease every day. You can help save lives....

How your heart works

How your heart works

How your heart works

Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood to all parts of your body. The blood gives your body the oxygen and nourishment it needs to work properly. ...

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Eating healthy foods can help you recover and reduce your risk of more heart problems. ...

What is coronary heart disease?

What is coronary heart disease?

What is coronary heart disease?

Coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease occurs when a coronary artery clogs and narrows because of a buildup of plaque....

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes is an ongoing health condition where your body’s usual ways of controlling your blood sugar, or blood glucose levels, don’t work properly. ...

Heart stories

Heart stories

Heart stories

Stories of hope from Australian men and women fighting heart disease....

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

This is a guide to how you might be feeling after a heart attack. ...

Support after a heart attack

Support after a heart attack

Support after a heart attack

Many different thoughts may go through your head after a heart attack and you may be presented with complicated medical info. Know where to get support. ...

Exercises to do at home

Exercises to do at home

Exercises to do at home

All you need to know about keeping active during COVID-19....

Lunch recipes

Lunch recipes

Lunch recipes

Search our lunch recipe ideas...

Health professional online learning

Health professional online learning

We offer a number of modules focused on improving cardiovascular care....

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

WEBINAR | Research Alumni Series 2020

The Heart Foundation is delivering a research webinar series for Heart Foundation research alumni....

Your heart is your most important tool

Your heart is your most important tool

Your heart is your most important tool

Men’s Health Week is the perfect time to think about your heart....

Donate Monthly | Become a Regular Donor

Donate Monthly | Become a Regular Donor

Donate Monthly | Become a Regular Donor

Join the fight against heart disease....

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Absolute CVD risk assessment is an integrated approach that estimates the cumulative risk of multiple risk factors to predict a heart attack or stroke event in the next five years....

State based advocacy

State based advocacy

State based advocacy activity supporting local communities...

Supporting local Councils in South Australia

Supporting local Councils in South Australia

Supporting local Councils in South Australia

Resources to help support your council region to be healthy, connected and safe....

The one that took Jan’s breath away

The one that took Jan’s breath away

The one that took Jan’s breath away

Open heart surgery to treat damaged heart valves has improved Jan's overall health....

Register your cardiac service with the Heart Foundation

Register your cardiac service with the Heart Foundation

This cardiac services directory presents information on cardiac rehab programs offered across Australia....

Fruit, vegetables and heart health

Fruit, vegetables and heart health

Fruit, vegetables and heart health

How to boost your fruit and vegetable intake to help protect your heart. ...

Heart health information in your language

Heart health information in your language

A selection of heart health information brochures in a range languages...

Health Professional Ambassador Program

Health Professional Ambassador Program

Health Professional Ambassador Program

Would you like to improve the cardiovascular health of your patients?...

Workplace giving program

Workplace giving program

Workplace giving program

Workplace giving is a simple and tax effective way for employees to make regular donations to a cause they care about. ...

Medical tests for heart disease

Medical tests for heart disease

Medical tests for heart disease

Learn about the common tests your doctor may want you to have to diagnose your heart condition....