27 Nov, 2012 Last updated: 29 Jan, 2015

Primary school children who took part in VicHealth’s Walk to School campaign during October have walked a combined 241,115 kilometres – six times around the circumference of the Earth.

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Primary school children who took part in VicHealth’s Walk to School campaign during October have walked a combined 241,115 kilometres – six times around the circumference of the Earth.

Walk to School inspired Victorian primary school students to use their feet to travel to and from school every school day in October. A total of 11,425 students from 55 schools took part across the state.

VicHealth chief executive officer Jerril Rechter said the students of Victoria had gone above and beyond to walk the equivalent of two-thirds of the distance to the moon.

“For Victorian students to have traversed the planet six times is a remarkable collective effort,” Ms Rechter said.

“This year’s Walk to School campaign represented a huge boost in physical activity among primary school kids - the equivalent of around seven million calories burned. Students who took part also reaped the added mental health and social benefits of walking as well.

“We estimate that during Walk to School, Victorian families saved a combined total of 19,000 litres of petrol by relying on their feet, instead of the car, to travel. Imagine the difference we could make if walking was a daily part of everyone’s commute.

“We hope that kids and families will keep up the good work and make walking a healthy habit all year around.”

Only one in five Victorian kids walk to school regularly – 50 per cent below 1970 levels – in an age when childhood obesity is rising to epidemic levels.

Now in its seventh year, VicHealth’s Walk to School campaign aims to raise awareness of the need for children to make walking part of their daily routine to improve fitness, friendships, the environment and their confidence.

Check out the Walk to School Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/WalkToSchool