How to get your class walking for National Walking Month


May is National Walking Month in the UK and teachers can play a pivotal role in helping children to feel energised and empowered when it comes to walking.

The month, developed by the charity Living Streets, is working to make walking to school the natural choice for parents and children alike.

To mark their 90th anniversary, the charity is putting a focus on health and wellbeing this year, in order to showcase how walking can help the whole community, as well as individuals.

The charity has one major ambition, and that is for every child that can walk to school to do so.

It comes as they seek to address a sharp decline in the amount that young people walk – whereas 70% of people walked to school just one generation ago, now it’s less than half.

Why walking makes a difference

Walking to school brings with it a number of benefits for young people, and Living Streets highlights this as part of Walking to School Week, marked on 20-24 May this year.

As well as walking challenges and fun tasks that raise awareness, it also helps to showcase the other benefits, including: 

  • Reduced congestion: Fewer cars on the roads at peak times helps to boost health. At peak times, one in five cars in on the school run, contributing to congestion, carbon emissions and air pollution.
  • Cleaner air: A mind-boggling two million tonnes of carbon dioxide is generated annually by those on the school run. Cutting that figure will help enhance the environment and the air we all breathe.
  • Happier children: Studies have focused on the impact of walking and exercise, and have revealed that children who have some form of exercise before school, such as walking, perform better in class as they are refreshed and ready to learn.

Living Streets has a number of resources that can assist teachers who want to push the walking to school message as part of National Walking Month.

The aim is to help children benefit first-hand the benefits of walking to school and there are packs for those in both primary and secondary school teaching jobs.