To drive or to walk? That is the question.

Did you know, according to paediatric occupational therapist Angela Hanscom, that “kids should spend a minimum of three hours a day running, playing and just plain being a kid outside”?

 

While it is not always easy getting children outdoors, one of the best ways to do this is to get them to walk or ride a bike to school.

 

In Langwarrin, there are three schools along Warrandyte Road called Elisabeth Murdoch College, Langwarrin Primary School and St. Jude’s Primary school.

 

During school pick up and drop off times, traffic can get extremely heavy, and Langwarrin residents have taken to their Facebook group, Langwarrin Locals, saying that if more students walked to school, the problem would be reduced.

 

Carly Joy posted, “walking to the car or walking to school could do kids some good”.

 

Carly is not the only local who supports the idea of kids getting themselves to and from school.

 

Juzzy Bell and her 11-year-old son live a twenty-minute walk from his school, St. Jude’s.

 

While she always encourages him to get outside, Juzzy said she has always felt the walk was just a bit far.

 

However, because he will be entering high-school next year she wants to give him more freedom.

 

“This is definitely the year where we’ve said we want him to be able to walk, and he agrees. He wants to be more independent”, Juzzy said.

 

Sally Beveridge, another resident, has lived in Langwarrin for ten years and has seen the traffic increase every year along Warrandyte Road.

 

When asked about suggestions on how to encourage children to get outside more, Sally said, “it’s probably a bit left field, but I think it’s the attitude of the adults”.

 

She went on to say that she believes a lot of parents have a negative attitude towards bike riding and walking.

 

“Then their kids hear that and it’s a bit discouraging”, Sally claims, “if parents had a more positive attitude towards exercise then it would encourage their kids to do the same thing”.

 

Every October, VicHealth promotes walking and riding bikes to school.

 

The website says that not only does it have health benefits, “it reduces traffic congestion, saves on parking, and even saves the environment!”

 

For the Langwarrin area, if more children were encouraged to walk and ride to school, it not only benefits their health and wellbeing, but also benefits the locals in Langwarrin by reducing the number of cars travelling along Warrandyte Road on a daily basis.

 

 

Secondary Sources

 

 

Check out more stories from Shannon Cole HERE

 

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About Shannon Cole

My name is Shannon Cole and I am 20 years old. I am a journalism student at Deakin University, while also working part-time as a swimming instructor. I got the opportunity to write for The Footy Almanac through one of my university units, and I also have a personal blog where I post articles (www.shannonjournalism.com), so feel free to check that out. I hope you enjoy my articles and keep an eye out for any new ones I post!

Comments

  1. citrus bob says

    Good on you Shannon! Best of luck with your career.

    I live in Mildura and 99.9% of students are driven to their respective schools. And YES, most of them in big expensive four-wheel-drives.
    Guess what? Mildura has one of the highest obesity problems in Victoria both kids and adults.
    I actually saw a young boy riding his bike to school in December. Sent a text to the local paper congratulating him. NO reply!
    I live in a court and I know kids LIVE here but do I ever see them? NO!
    I am afraid it is endemic that kids just sit – home, car, school.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Great stuff Shannon. A nephew expressed an interest in playing golf and I bought him a lesson with the pro and a round for his birthday. He walked the first hole texting and viewing social media between shots (despite Indian Ocean views). On the second tee I told him phones were not allowed on golf courses.
    (Reminds me of the Leunig cartoon of a parent and child watching a sunrise on TV; with the real thing outside the window). We are distracting ourselves to death as per Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”.

  3. So true, Shannon.
    When my youngest son (now 21) was in his final year of primary school, he rode to school every single day of the year. The school is about 2 -3 kms away, and the journey was through a reasonably busy shopping centre. I was concerned, but also very proud of his efforts.

  4. Shannon good article !!
    as a volunteer right up above the Arctic Circle ( see my blog at richardmarlow.info) with no traffic hassles as such except of the occasional skidoo flying past!! one thing i am NOT missing is doing duty at my normal place of employment (a P -12 school in suburban Brisbane) with traffic chaos ensuing as people jockey in expensive SUV’s to pick up their little darlings. As a Riverina lad who walked or rode his bike to school in Junee it kept me fit, enabled me to be independent and also gave me the chance to go to my friend’s house after school or get something from the shop for mum. When we moved to Canberra I would sometimes ride my bike to rowing at 5 am helpful for the planet and my fitness even though it was cold
    keep up the good work.

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