Why you need to leave the car at home more often

And the solution is as simple as making a few small changes to your daily routine.

Australians have become a nation dependent on our motor vehicles, with nearly three out of four adults travelling to work or study by car.

It’s a habit we’re also passing on to the next generation, with 64 per cent of Australian children now driven to school, according to a new survey undertaken by the LiveLighter public health education campaign.

LiveLighter campaign manager Alison McAleese says the results show we need to make more effort to walk rather than getting in the car for journeys.

“We need to fall out of love with our cars and start enjoying the outdoors,” Alison says.

She encouraged parents to think about ways they can incorporate more exercise in to their family’s routine, and to consider walking to school with children.

“If driving is unavoidable, even parking 10 or 15 minutes away and walking the rest of the way together is a good compromise.”

The main factors people gave for not walking or cycling to work or study was:

  • Too far to walk/cycle
  • Time
  • Convenience
  • Lack of safe route

Alison added that school-age children should be aiming for at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical exercise every day, while adults should be aiming for between 2.5 and five hours of moderate intensity exercise every week.

Easy tips for getting active

  • Start with a simple routine. Whether it’s walking the dog around the block, or having a brisk stroll to get your morning coffee.
  • Screen-free time. Allocate segments of the day where children put away their technology and enjoy play time. Get out in the backyard, or take a bike ride to the local park.
  • Join a walking group. Not only will you get some exercise, you’ll also get to meet new people.

Visit livelighter.com.au for more advice and tips on how to overhaul your health and wellbeing in 2018.

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