Step out to better health

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Sixteen years ago there had never been a single case of a child being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the UK.

BBC’s Panorama revealed last week that there are now more than 500 cases – and rising.

October is International Walk to School Month – not a date many of us will have in our diary but as walk to school rates hit a dangerous low point and child health problems increase, maybe it should be.

Walking more can lead to improved physical and mental health, including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

The journey to school is one that children make every day, so let’s just make it an active one.

Catchment areas can be an issue but Park and Stride – swapping school gate gridlock for parking further away and taking a short walk instead – means children can still get active for part of the journey and stops the school being surrounded by congestion.

If you could park further away and walk the last stretch then ask your school to speak to a nearby supermarket, pub or church about allowing their car park to be used for Park and Stride.

Soaring diabetes, childhood obesity and harmful air pollution mean we need to seek solutions – not excuses – and give them a go.

International Walk to School Month is a good time to start.

Tim Fitches,

Research and Evaluation Manager,

Living Streets