Tuesday, 17th May 2011
Bert van Manen MP, the Federal Member for Forde, is encouraging all primary school children, their parents and carers to take part in National Walk Safely to School Day on Friday 20th May.
Walk Safely to School Day is run by the Pedestrian Council of Australia.
Now in its twelfth year, the Walk Safely to School Day is a national campaign to promote the benefits of regular exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle to school children as well as reinforcing safe pedestrian behaviour.
Mr van Manen said that “Walking to and from school is a great way to ensure that young Australians get their recommended amount of physical exercise each day.”
“Childhood obesity is a growing problem in Australia. According to recent research, 22.4% of children aged 5 to 12 are either overweight or obese.” Mr van Manen said.
The results get worse for those aged 13 to 17, where the rate of overweight or obese children jumps to 28.6%.
“Children are more likely to be found sitting in front of the T.V or a computer, rather than out kicking a footy or riding a bike.” Mr van Manen said.
“I would encourage all students, and their parents or carers to take the first steps towards a healthier lifestyle by hitting the pavement on Friday the 20th of May, and walking to school,” Mr van Manen said.
Walk Safely to School Day is an initiative of the Pedestrian Council of Australia and was originally sponsored by the Howard Government. It has been funded by the Australian Government every year since then, and is supported by each State & Territory and Local Governments, the Heart Foundation, Diabetes Australia, Cancer Council, and Beyond Blue.
Further information on National Walk Safely to School Day can be found at www.walk.com.au