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.

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Join the Heart Foundation in South Australia for the journey of a lifetime, trekking the ancient Flinders Ranges to help save Australian hearts....

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

A series of virtual events for young adults on managing emotional wellbeing. ...

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Feel healthier and happier in six weeks with a free Personal Walking Plan...

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

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.  ...

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

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. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join our community of fundraisers who are committed to taking action to fight heart disease....

Dinner recipes

Dinner recipes

Dinner recipes

Search our heart healthy dinner recipes for tonights main meal...

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

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

Heart failure resources for patients

Heart failure resources for patients

Educate your patients on everything they need to know about heart failure and managing their condition. ...

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Understand how smoking can impact your heart health. ...

Healthy chicken fajitas

Healthy chicken fajitas

20 minutes
Serves 4

Coronary Angiogram Test

Coronary Angiogram Test

This is a common test done to find out angina symptoms, or during or after a heart attack. ...

Italian recipes

Italian recipes

Italian recipes

Find heart healthy Italian recipes....

Maryanne was shocked to find she had a hidden heart problem

Maryanne was shocked to find she had a hidden heart problem

Maryanne was shocked to find she had a hidden heart problem

At first, it didn’t cross my mind it could be something serious. ...

When The Heart Gets Heavy: Emotional Wellbeing and Heart Conditions

When The Heart Gets Heavy: Emotional Wellbeing and Heart Conditions

Emotional wellbeing is like having a garden, sometimes it grows green on its own, other times it needs watering, cutting back or fertilising....

Pregnancy and heart disease

Pregnancy and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Do you have a Heart Story to share?

Do you have a Heart Story to share?

Do you have a Heart Story to share?

Sharing your story could help another Australian just like you to overcome their heart challenges...

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Resources available for built environment professionals to help guide in the development of active outdoor and indoor spaces....

Kid-friendly lentil stew

Kid-friendly lentil stew

30 minutes
Serves 4

From diagnosis at 37 to heart surgery, rehab and now

From diagnosis at 37 to heart surgery, rehab and now

From diagnosis at 37 to heart surgery, rehab and now

Claude Lam, Open heart surgery survivor...

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

Ask the experts: caring for people with CVD during COVID-19...

Key Statistics: Coronary Heart Disease

Key Statistics: Coronary Heart Disease

Statistics and information on coronary heart disease in Australia ...

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David's heart failure diagnosis led to significant changes in his life....

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Explore our guide for driving and heart attack recovery. ...

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

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

Coronary Artery Calcium Score

Coronary Artery Calcium Score

A Coronary Artery Calcium Score or CT Calcium test can be used to estimate your risk of heart attack or stroke....

Heart health information in your language

Heart health information in your language

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