The International Community School (or ICS for short), one of the most acclaimed international school London has to offer, has put its Walk on Wednesday program to work involving all of their Primary Years students. This new health promoting initiative works as follows: the school buses drop the students off at the top of Regent Park, the students are then joined by a group of ICS teachers and walk together to school.
This activity will be part of the ICS School Travel Plan which is a joint effort between the institution and Transport to London. The plan has the goal of encouraging more students to engage in regular walks and exercise all year long. The Walk on Wednesday initiative is also helping to alleviate the environmental impact of transportation for a crowded city such as London by reducing the CO2 emissions from public and private transportation.
The ICS is a renowned independent school London area that makes a point about working towards the promotion of a healthier life style and educating the children on the many benefits of regular physical activity.
A Pressing Need
Due to demographic studies conducted recently we can now see the true decline in physical activity on the younger population. Only half of children between the ages of 11 and 16 years walk regularly and most of them for only about 10 minutes per day. On average, children are walking far less today than they did 5 or 10 years ago. At the same time, childhood obesity has been continuously on the increase in past years, and has become a serious health concern in many western countries. While many people blame the increased number of indoor and sedentary activities (such as TV, computers and video games) for this, it was found that parental fear for the child’s safety while being outside has been a major catalyst to these problems.
Taking regular walks brings many benefits and it is a very good idea to start building the walking habit from an early age to ensure that kids incorporate daily exercise as part of their adult lives. As a rule of thumb, most kids can safely walk between 800-1000 metres per day, per year of age. Walking from fifteen to thirty minutes a day is a great routine for kids of school age.
Some benefits of walking regularly
- Helps to build muscles and maintain a healthy bone structure
- Helps children control their weight and prevents obesity problems
- Reduces levels of stress, sadness and anxiety (as all exercise does)
- Increases both flexibility and stamina
- Improves mental feats of concentration and memory retention
- Helps children sleep much better (as well as adults, to a certain degree)