Walking to school – improving health, well-being and the environment

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October marks International Walk to School Month, a time to encourage parents, guardians and children to walk to school and remind them of the many benefits this brings.

Physical exercise is important for improving people’s health and happiness and encouraging children to take part in daily physical activity helps instil healthy behaviour from an early age. An easy way to get regular exercise is by walking to and from school as much as possible. It’s also great for parents!

As well as benefitting our children, more people walking to school also benefits the environment and people living close to schools by significantly reducing the number of vehicles dropping off and picking up children. Walking is the most environmentally friendly way to travel.

Walking keeps you fit and healthy, increases your energy levels and makes you feel more positive. It strengthens your bones and muscles, which is important for growing children. Walking also improves balance and coordination.

The extra fresh air and exercise will allow children to have a better night’s sleep, leaving them raring to go at school the next day.

Who knows what you might see on your daily walk? The varying seasons and weather will bring out all manner of different things for your children to learn about, from animals to plants and trees and much more.

Scotland’s Low Emission Zones (LEZs) were introduced in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow in May 2022 to remove the most polluting vehicles from city centres. LEZs improve air quality and public health while encouraging people to consider sustainable transport, as an alternative to taking the car.

Using sustainable modes of transport like walking, wheeling, cycling and public transport will all contribute to improving air quality and helping people’s health in Scotland.

You can find out more about Scotland’s LEZs and how they work About.