05 Aug, 2015 Last updated: 05 Aug, 2015

AFL champion Nathan Brown encourages primary school kids to walk, ride or scoot to and from school throughout October.

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Only one in five children currently meet physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes every day. Victorian primary students encouraged to walk, ride or scoot to and from school throughout October.

Former AFL champion Nathan Brown and primary school students from St Mark’s School in Fawkner joined forces today to launch VicHealth’s Walk to School month for 2015.

VicHealth is calling on Victorian schools to join the girls and boys at St Mark’s and register for Walk to School this October.

The proportion of Victorian children walking to school has declined dramatically over the last 50 years with currently only one in four children walking or riding to school. Walk to School is part of VicHealth’s long-term plan to get more Victorians living healthier and happier lives. It’s a free and easy way for children to get active in October and start a habit that can put them on the path to good health for the rest of their lives.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said: “Trends have shown the importance of establishing healthy lifestyle habits and healthy weight early in childhood: overweight and in particular obesity can become more entrenched and possibly less reversible by the middle-school years. Walk to School is a great way to get children active and establish a life-long healthy habit.” 

To launch the 2015 campaign, Walk to School ambassador Nathan Brown joined students at participating school, St Mark’s School Fawkner, to walk the first official steps with eager students. A father himself, Nathan believes Walk to School plays an important role in building healthy habits for life.

“It’s difficult to turn a blind eye to the staggering number of children who are living inactive lifestyles. Walk to School is a fun way to get the kids active. It involves the entire family in a way that can live far beyond the month of October,” Nathan said. 

Schools participating in Walk to School this October will be provided with certificates to celebrate students’ achievements, as well as being in the running for regional prizes.

Registrations are now open for Walk to School 2015 at www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au

Throughout October, schools and parents are encouraged to help children record their walks using classroom calendars or the Walk to School website and free app which is available for download for iPhone and Android devices.

Contact: Helen Walsh, Senior Media Advisor, VicHealth, 03 9667 1319 or 0435 761 732 or email [email protected].