BY YVONNE GALLAGHER D.C. MSC HONS CHIROPRACTIC
Make Walking To School a Habit!
To coincide with National Walk to School Week and most importantly the return of primary and secondary children to School this week in Ireland the United Chiropractic Association of which Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic are members are encouraging families to improve their health and well-being and introduce more walking into the daily lifestyle of their children.
Did you know that the number of children traveling to school by car has doubled over the past 20 years and it is not only harmful to the environment but also to your pocket with the annual average costs for a school run topping €505 .
Exercise is an effective and important tool for ensuring the future health of our children. Obesity is now the second largest cause of death and in a recent test carried out on children, it was seen on average that children who walked to and from school used more calories than a 2 hour PE lesson. 9 out of 10 teachers believe that walking to school makes children brighter, more alert and ready for the first class of the day.
Walking is a terrific form of exercise that strengthens your body and helps to position the spine in the natural shape it was designed for – being upright. Regular walking helps to build up core strength and allows you to breathe better and as a result reduces fatigue and minimises other side-effects associated with bad posture.
As Chiropractors we are strongly committed to keeping future generations moving, and are trained professionals who realise the difference that simple, healthy lifestyle modifications such as walking to school or work can have on an individual’s health.
Here are some of our top tips and reasons to make walking to school become a habit!
- Walking with your child is a great time to spend quality time with them and talk about things you don’t always have time for. It will also give you opportunity to meet other parents and children
- If your child walks without you then ensure they are familiar with the route and have road safety awareness. (The U.K charity, Living Streets, warns that parents who try to keep their children safe by driving them to school are depriving them of the opportunity to learn road sense, putting them at greater risk when they do start traveling to school independently).
- Check out if your school has a ‘walking bus’ where groups of children are chaperoned by a few adults on the journey to and from school with pick up and drop off points rather like a bus service.
- Make sure your child’s backpack is not too heavy, that it is worn on both shoulders and that the weight is distributed evenly as this can cause back ache and postural problems.
- Ensure your child’s footwear is comfortable and appropriate for walking.
- If you do live quite far from school why not try and park further away and walk the difference – 10 to 15 minutes exercise can help your child keep in shape and keep extra pounds off.
- Think of the environment and the money you could be saving as well as avoiding stress from the traffic and parking.
Last year over in the U.K over one million children in over 4000 schools ditched the school run as part of Walk to School Week, let’s make the numbers even greater this year!
Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic News
If you as a parent this September are concerned about your child’s
- Complaints concerning Low Back or Neck Pain
- Spinal Alignment / Curvature of the spine
We offer a special promotional rates of assessment for Children where we can offer appropriate advice and full evaluation of conditions whether big or small to start the school year off in a healthy way.
Call 053 94 83338 for further information and in the meantime ….where feasible
Make Walking to Your School a Healthy habit!
Dept for Road Transport
Figure is based on approved mileage rates from Revenue Commissioners
World Health Organisation 2001
Study by Roger L Mackett of the Centre for Transport Studies, University College London