News & Insights 18 May 2022

Here’s why Walk to School Week is more important than you think!

What is Walk to School Week?

Walk to school is an annual event that encourages children to adopt new, healthier lifestyles by walking more and prioritising physical activity. 

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This year’s theme is #PowerUp – a video game-inspired design, motivating pupils to travel sustainably to school every day of the week. Each day children will have to unlock a new level by walking and a new mission to complete. 

This week is a reminder that walking to school has multiple benefits, from physical to mental health; maintaining a less polluted environment and making streets safer for children. 

Taking care of pupils’ physical and mental health is not limited to classroom activities – it’s important to incorporate other activities that promote a general sense of wellbeing in every aspect of young people’s lives. 

Read more: Three ways our volunteer tutors support children’s mental health

The health benefits of walking to school

It improves cognitive function

Walking is a great exercise that children can do before school, as studies show that it gets the heart pumping and this can help improve cognitive function for lessons throughout the school day. 

Another study by Stanford University has also shown that walking increases creativity and according to the research that was conducted, it opens up the free flow of ideas. 

Walking improves our mood

Getting outdoors first thing in the morning is an excellent way to make the most of natural daylight and the exposure to sunlight increases levels of serotonin, the body’s natural mood stabiliser!

Children feel in control 

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that walking to school can help pupils feel more independent and confident. Learning the route from home to school can enhance their navigation skills and it can serve as a great learning experience to familiarise themselves with road safety rules.

It can be relaxing

Lastly, walking to school can relax children and help them release tension, stress or negative thoughts in general before they head into the classroom. 

How can you get involved? 

This week is a challenge to incorporate healthy habits into our daily life and teach children the importance of exercise and physical health. 

However, we understand that not every child has the possibility to walk the distance from their home to their school. If you are a parent, make sure you can park your car further than you normally would and try to walk the rest of the way. This can also give you the chance to spend more quality time with your child. 

Walk to School Week is a great way for children to create healthy habits that can be extended beyond the week itself, by encouraging positive attitudes with a focus on exercise and wellbeing.

Walking is the first step to a healthier, happier lifestyle. 

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