Sunday, 15 May 2011

What are you doing for Walk to School week?

It's Walk to School Week this week (16th to 20th May) and it's sponsored by Kia Motors. I love the fact a car company is promoting walking to school instead of travelling by car!

Kia are encouraging this campaign in relation to the Kia Walk Bus campaign which was set up a few years ago to increase awareness of road safety and the environment.  The walking bus scheme is a great idea for getting children to school safely and is well worth looking at, perhaps even setting one up for your school?

This also provides children with a healthy, educational and environmentally sound way of getting to school each day. On any normal school day an amazing 20 per cent of all traffic is due to the school run.  Have a look at some of the facts and figures behind the campaign:

- Walking is great exercise – it helps to build up muscles including the heart as well as building bone density and improving all round health;
- Research has shown that walking to school in the morning is great preparation for the day ahead – kids arrive awake, alert and ready to learn;
  - In the UK, the school run is responsible for more than two million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, more than the total annual emissions of some small countries like Haiti or Guam.
- Driving the average school run for a year costs over £400 (based on approved mileage rates from the Inland Revenue)
- Obesity is now the second biggest cause of death after cancer (WHO 2001)
- In the European Union, inactivity is now a greater cause of illness than smoking (WHO 2002)
- 4 out of 10 boys and 6 out of 10 girls do not do the recommended minimum of one hour a day of physical activity (National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2000)

If, like me, it's not feasible to walk your children to school everyday what about the Walk Once a Week scheme, which encourages children to walk at least once a week. I don't work on Fridays so that's the day I walk my daughters to school. We make sure we leave the house with enough time to walk the 20 minute journey on foot. We take the hound with us and we all get a bit of extra exercise, the added bonus for me is that I get 20 minutes to chat with my girls instead of always having 'something else' to do.

The Walk to School website has lots of ideas on getting children walking, with lots of free resources for parents, teachers and schools.

Kia Motors have also sent me a 'walking kit' consisting of a reflective tabard, a t-shirt* and a pedometer to measure how many steps you are doing on a daily basis. If you'd like to win the kit please leave a comment and let me know what you think of the campaign. Do your children walk to school? Could you manage the school run on foot at least once a week?

I'll pick a name at random for the walking kit at the end of the week, and I'll give you an update on how we got on with our own walk to school week.

*the tabard is sized 5-7, the t-shirt if 7-8. There is no cash alternative. UK entrants only.