U.S researchers have found that children who walk one mile to school each day have a reduced risk of developing an increase in heat rate which can lead to cardiovascular disease later on in life.
Children who were driven to school experienced a rise in blood pressure three time higher than those who walked to school when taking a short exam later in the day.
They found children who were given a simulated ride to school experienced a rise in blood pressure three times higher than those who took a simulated walk when taking a short exam later in the day.
Professor James Roemmich, lead researcher of the study has said ‘We know that physical activity has a protective effect on the development of cardiovascular disease, and one way it may be doing so is by reducing stress reactivity.’
‘Previous research from the Department for Transport found that 9 out of 10 teachers reported that children who walk to school are more alert and ready to work once they reach the classroom.’
Chief Executive of Living Streets, Tony Armstrong, has warned that the number of children walking to school has been declining over the past two decades with 43 percent of children now being driven to school despite the majority of primary school children living within a 20 minute walk.
‘If we are to avoid the Government’s prediction of a quarter of our children being obese by 2050, we need to take action now.’