Promoting active travel among children

The New South Wales Government wants to promote better health by encouraging more active travel by NSW children.

Active travel means walking, cycling, scootering, skateboarding or any similar transport where human energy is spent to travel.

Research from around the world reveals that children’s local active travel provides significant benefits. In addition to the health benefits of physical activity, walking and bicycle riding can also improve children’s concentration.

The government is also planning to boost the number of walking and cycling trips, including the Sydney’s Walking Future and Sydney’s Cycling Future.

It is proposing to more than double the mode share of bike trips made in the Greater Sydney region, and increase the mode share of walking trips made in the Greater Sydney region to 25 per cent.

To date, most attention has been paid to adult trips, but children also need to travel to socialise, study and to participate in sport and recreation.

In 2014, the NSW Active Travel Charter for Children was launched, supported by 15 agencies, including NSW Health, Transport for NSW and the Department of Education and Communities. This Charter identified the many health, social and environmental benefits of children’s active travel and noted a number of strategies to increase children’s active travel.

To further encourage children’s active travel, we designed and edited a new booklet on behalf of the NSW Office of Preventive Health for parents, carers and communities The booklet titled Children’s Active Travel in New South Wales was prepared with experts and key agencies involved in children’s active travel, including parents/ carers, local government, schools, sports organisations and shopping centres.

Client: NSW Health