Take steps for International Walk to School Month

A national charity is urging families to walk to school.

A national charity is urging families to walk to school.

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As walk to school rates remain low, a national charity is calling for families to tackle the inactivity by getting on their feet for International Walk to School Month this October.

Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, is urging families across Scotland and the rest of the UK to walk to school to tackle the growing levels of inactivity amongst children.

Just 43 per cent of primary school age children walk to school in Scotland, compared with 70 per cent a generation ago. At the same time, levels of obesity and inactivity are on the rise with more than a quarter of Scottish children being obese or overweight.

In the lead up to International Walk to School Month, the charity has been speaking with organisations across the world also working to get more children walking to school, and identified a worldwide trend to promote active travel as a way to tackle inactivity.

Living Streets research found that over half of parents who don’t walk to school with their children would like to but are put off by various factors, including traffic speeds and unsafe parking.

Living Streets asked its supporters across Scotland, England and Wales what they enjoyed about the walk to school and what could be done to get families swapping the school run for a school walk.

Stuart Hay, Director, Living Streets Scotland said: “Many of us need to start moving more and walking to school is a free and achievable way to fit more activity into a family’s day.

“We work in nearly 300 schools across Scotland to increase the number of pupils walking to school through WOW - our walk to school challenge.

“If walking the whole way isn’t possible, we encourage Park and Stride - it reduces congestion and pollution around the school gates and allows children to get active for the last few minutes of their journey.

“Enjoy the sounds of leaves crackling under your feet this October and join families across the world walking to school for International Walk to School Month.”

Living Streets offers a special month-long trial package of WOW. This can be used by schools at any time throughout the year to see if WOW could work for them.

For more information on WOW, Park and Stride schemes and walking zones – or to share your thoughts, visit https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/iwtsm