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Maps being used to encourage more pupils to walk to school in Brighton and Hove
Maps showing how long it takes to walk to school are being used to help schoolchildren get more active in Brighton and Hove.
Health promotion teams are working with schools to create colourful maps which show whether people are living an estimated five, ten or 15 minutes walk away.
Bosses believe highlighting the length of time instead of just the distance may make it more obvious to families about whether they can fit walking to and from school into their day.
Westdene Primary School in Bankside, Brighton, has already been trying out the scheme.
Its map shows how Mill Rise residents can take up to five minutes to reach the school, those in Hillcrest will take ten minutes and people in Valley Drive may take up to 15 minutes.
The maps are being used as part of Brighton and Hove City Council’s public health team’s work backing a national Smart Restart campaign aimed at encouraging families to get more fit and active as the new school year starts.
Health promotion specialist David Brindley said: “The aim of creating walking zone maps is to encourage parents to park further away from the school gate and to promote walking to school.
“Walking some or all of the way to and from school is an easy and fun way for children and their families to build physical activity into the daily routine. It also has the added benefit of reducing congestion around the school entrance, making it safer for children to enter their school.”
Around one in six 10- and 11-year-olds in Brighton and Hove is obese, according to the National Child Measurement Programme, which checks children’s weight in Reception class and Year 6.
The most recent results available show 15.5% of the 1,979 Year 6 pupils weighed were obese and a further 14.2% were overweight.
A total of 2,491 Reception class children in the city were weighed, with 7.7% classed as obese and 11.2% overweight.
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