Children take part in walk to school event

STUDENTS from Rosetta Primary School added a walk to their week when they participated in National Walk Safely to School Day recently.

Now in its 17th year, the community initiative, which took place on Friday 20 May 2016, 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 health of children.

Rosetta Primary teacher Nola Lenthall said the school was a long-term supporter of the national campaign.

“The walk is now a regular event on our school calendar,” she said.

Despite the inclement weather, this year students and their families participated by walking all or some of the way to school.

On arrival, students were presented with certificates, viewed the National Walk Safely to School colouring-in competition entries and enjoyed some fruit platters in classrooms.

“Many students always walk to school, but this year we have been focusing on families leaving their cars some distance from school and walking the remainder of the way,” Ms Lenthall said.

“This has been a popular approach and was reinforced on Walk Safely to School Day 2016.

“As an Eco-School, we are also keen to promote the benefits of walking for helping our environment and reducing carbon emissions.”

Research released by Professor Adrian Bauman, head of epidemiology at Sydney University, supports the view that active children perform better academically compared to less active children.

The findings, which are drawn from studies, intervention trials and reviews, established a positive link between physical activity and cognition and academic performance.

“The findings are clear – active kids are smarter kids, who are getting improved results academically, and who are paying better attention in class,” Dr Bauman said.

Dr Bauman said most research studies, to date, have reviewed in-school physical activity programs or other structured exercise programs.

“I suspect that incidental or everyday physical activities, such as regular walking to and from school, would show similar effects,” he said.

“We encourage all parents and the education system to take these findings seriously.”

Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby said children who were regularly physically active were healthier, performed better academically and were less likely to be obese or overweight, which could lead to the long-term and costly risks of heart disease and diabetes.

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Caption: Izabella Engler, 11, pictured with her colouring-in competition entry for National Walk Safely to School Day, which Rosetta Primary School participated in recently.

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