Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher today congratulated Arawang Primary School for being one of fifty ACT schools keeping children active by signing up to the Ride or Walk to School Program.
“It is great to see so many Canberra schools embracing the Ride or Walk to School program which enables schools to provide their students with an environment that encourages safe cycling and walking to school,’ the Chief Minister said.
“We need to keep promoting opportunities for children to be active and getting to and from school is a simple way that children can get some exercise which has not only health benefits but helps them to learn while in the classroom.”
This program is an important component of the suite of activities supporting the ACT Government’s Healthy Weight Initiative.
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“Only about one-fifth of children aged 5 to 17 in the ACT are meeting physical activity recommendations, and one quarter are reported as being overweight or obese. This program is part of the solution to turn these figures around,” the Chief Minister said.
The Ride or Walk to School Program provides schools with the equipment and knowledge to create a culture within their school where riding or walking to school is the norm. It uses a multi-faceted approach that also includes addressing road safety issues and providing easily accessible and secure bike storage.
Overweight and obesity is a serious population health issue which can increase risks of a range of chronic diseases and places a huge economic burden on our health system. The ACT Government is committed to supporting a healthy, active and productive community and has made it a priority to address the challenging levels of overweight and obesity within the ACT community, particularly in children.
The Physical Activity Foundation received a Healthy Canberra Grant to deliver the Ride or Walk to School program to 30 schools in the ACT.
“I would like to congratulate the Physical Activity Foundation for their hard work in encouraging children to become more active and I call on all schools in the ACT to sign up to this program and help to do their bit to reduce the rates of overweight and obesity in the ACT.”
(Katy Gallagher Media Release)