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Walk Safely to School Day celebrated at Macquarie Primary School

Bubbly year 4 student Amber Hnatiuk likes walking to school because it gives her a chance to explore the neighbourhood and chat to her friends.

"I really like finding new ways to go to school and go back and walk and talk," the Macquarie Primary pupil said.

On Friday, National Walk Safely to School Day, Macquarie Primary teachers will meet students like Amber at the Macquarie and Cook shops to ensure a safe passage to school.

Year 5 student Finn Crombie will ride his bike, kindergartener Jai Waiariki-Wilson will hold dad Wayne's hand and year 6 Samuel Baker will look after sister Kaitlin, also in kinder.

Physical Activity Foundation chief executive Lucille Bailie encouraged families to take a step towards better health.

Research released by Active Healthy Kids Australia this week showed just 19 per cent of five to 17-year-olds get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

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The statistic saw Australia awarded a D- for exercise on the latest 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Young People and a C- for participation in active transport options, such as walking or cycling to school.

In the ACT, one in four children aged five to 17 is overweight or obese.

"Kids need 60 minutes at least of physical activity every day," Ms Baile said.

"It's just too important for kids and their families and community not to get active and get kids participating and being active."

Macquarie Primary principal Wendy Cave said the celebration of the Walk Safely to School Day was just one element of the school's focus on physical activity.

Kids are encouraged to BYOT - bring your own transport - with the broader school community involved in maintaining and fixing bikes for those without.

"We've extended our learning environment through policy guidelines about how we do use the outdoors, and that is playground and active streets around the school," Ms Cave said.

ADVICE FROM WALK SAFELY TO SCHOOL DAY:

  • Children up to eight years old should hold an adult's hand on the footpath, in the car park, or when crossing the road; an adult is defined as a parent, caregiver, grandparent, sibling in high school or older, other relative or neighbour, or other adult as advised by the child's parents/carers
  • Children up to ten years old should be actively supervised in the traffic environment and should hold an adult's hand when crossing the road