School nurses in Lancashire are calling on pupils and parents to hop on their bikes to and from school to encourage healthier lifestyles.
The call to cycle to school coincides with The Big Pedal - a cycling and scooting challenge involving schools across the UK that is held each year to reduce congestion and pollution around school gates and help children feel healthier. The Big Pedal this year is being held on 18-29 April 2016 with hundreds of thousands of pupils across the country taking part.
Lorraine Chadwick, Service Integration Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said, "Small and gradual lifestyle changes are what is needed to lead healthier and happier lives. Cycling along with other similar simple activities are fun ways to remain healthy and something that parents and children can all do. If these lifestyle changes can be introduced at a young age, then there are fewer chances of people developing illnesses and conditions associated with lack of exercise later in life.
"As a result, school nurses in Lancashire are encouraging families to get on their bikes and take part in The Big Pedal. We hope that encouraging children to cycle or scoot to school will positively impact their health and also lead to young people developing road safety skills. It should also be stressed that while cycling is a fun activity, it is crucial that people wear appropriate clothing and helmets to minimise risks."
The Big Pedal is a two-week programme that is being held from 18 to 29 April. Though many schools in Lancashire will only open on 25 April following the Easter break, pupils and parents can still participate in the challenge for a week.
To find out more about The Big Pedal visit www.bigpedal.org.uk.