Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is encouraging families at Dubbo to get on their feet for Walk Safely To School Day on Friday.
The PM offered his support to the initiative taking place at primary schools across Australia that aims to encourage children to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle.
“This Walk Safely to School Day, I encourage everyone to make it a day of resolution to take greater ‘strides’ to improve their health,” he said.
The day also promotes healthy eating, reduced car dependency, greater use of public transport, cleaner air and road safety.
Researcher Dr Natasha Schranz of the University of SA is also urging parents to get active to set an example and help turn around the poor health outcomes of the nation’s children.
Dr Schranz is the co-chair of Active Healthy Kids Australia which produces a biennial report card on children’s physical activity levels and has twice assigned a D-rating. Their next report is due later this year.
“The future health of our children really depends on it. Studies show that children with active parents tend to be active themselves and so it is important that parents share the role of getting the family out and about, then children respond accordingly,” Dr Schranz said.
“There’s also the added bonus for parents of increasing their own health and fitness while being active with their children.”
Figures show 75 per cent of children who have at least one active parent will take part in sport and physical activity outside school hours.