Psychologist supports Walk to School Week

May 16 - 20 is National Walk to School Week, which has been organised by the Walk to School campaign. Professor Craig Mahoney has lent his support to the initiative, noting such activity can bring numerous benefits for young people - with regards to both their physical and mental wellbeing.

The Chartered Psychologist noted that living in a technological age has many advantages, but it has also resulted in increasing concerns over the health of youngsters in the UK.

He observed a proliferation in obesity has come about as a result of reductions in exercise, meaning young people are at increasing risk of hypo kinetic disorders that had previously been on the wane, such as diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and cardiovascular disorders - while concerns over mental health issues are also being aired.

Professor Mahoney said he was therefore delighted to support National Walk to School Week.

He noted: "Walking is one of the most easily accessible activity plans any of us can do. It raises our heart rate - good for health - it increases our respiratory flow - good for health - it reduces the use of vehicles - good for the planet - and it enables the release of endorphins - good for mental health."

"In addition, the education of our young people on issues of walking safety on our streets, crossing roads with care and being courteous to other pedestrians, are all part of the life-long learning processes we want young people to engage with."

The Walk to School Campaign helps more than 1.6 million children walk to their place of learning and runs schemes in both primary and secondary schools.