Queensland kids get ready to walk for good health

Thousands of primary school kids are expected to take part in National Walk Safely to School Day this Friday (22 May), with the support of Cancer Council and other leading health organisations.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift encouraged parents to take part in the campaign with their children.

“This is a great community initiative that will boost the health and wellbeing of our next generation,” Ms Clift said.

“Only around 60 per cent of children aged five to seven, and 44 per cent of children aged 8 to 11 are active every day.

“Australia’s physical activity guidelines recommend young people participate in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day.

“Physical activity breeds better cardio-metabolic, musculoskeletal and mental health in children – and those who exercise are less likely to gain unhealthy weight.

“Up to one third of all cancers are preventable through lifestyle choices including exercising daily and maintaining a healthy weight.

“We want to set our kids up for the best possible future – free of chronic disease and reducing their cancer risk where possible.

“Initiatives like Walk Safely to School Day are imperative in creating great health in Queensland school children, and starting the habit of being physically active at a young age.”

Australia’s physical activity guidelines also recommend that children don’t participate in more than two hours of recreational use of electronic media daily.

But the statistics show one in three children exceed the recommended screen time for entertainment – one in six aged between five and seven years old.

“Creating a habit of daily exercise will encourage children to choose all-round healthy habits – including reducing time spent watching TV, playing on computers, consoles and smart phones,” Ms Clift said.

“Making physical activity a part of the everyday routine will help children enjoy exercise, look forward to it, and understand the short and long term health benefits.”

Queensland schools can join the QUEST to help their students lead healthier lives at quest.org.au.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.

For more information or interviews, please contact:

Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland

Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171

*The health of Queenslanders 2014, Fifth report of the Chief Health Officer Queensland.