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Walk To School Day Great For Health

Walk To School Day Great For Health And The Environment

Wednesday 8 March 2006

Living Streets Aotearoa fully supports Walk to School Day. Today children from schools in Tauranga, Nelson, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland will get out of the car and take to their feet.

Living Streets Aotearoa Director Liz Thomas says that when the parents of today’s children went to school, about two thirds of them walked. Now about two thirds of children are driven to school.

“Walking is the oldest transport mode, and is cheap, healthy and environmentally friendly. It encourages children to be independent. For younger children, walking school buses are a safe and sociable way to get to school.

“With rising petrol prices and increasing pollution and congestion on our roads, walking makes a lot of sense.”

She says that encouraging more children to walk to school will also help address the increase in child obesity.

“Starting children walking at an early age will set good healthy habits for the rest of their lives. Children cannot burn off energy if they are sitting in the car.

“Another positive spin-off is the pressure that more people walking will put on councils to ensure walking environments are safe, pleasant and attractive.”

Living Streets Aotearoa is a national organisation which promotes and advocates for walking and pedestrian-friendly communities. Walk to School Day is supported by EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority), Land Transport New Zealand and some city councils.

ENDS

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