The healthy lifestyle message will be heard loud and clear at Balliang East Primary School this week as they take part in National Walk Safely To School Day.

The school’s 75-strong contingent will take part in the May 17 event, which encourages school children across the country to walk to school as an easy first step towards regular exercise.

Principal Caryn Fox said it was something the school loved being involved in.

“Where we are located makes it hard for the students to walk to school,” Ms Fox said.

“The majority of the kids get driven to school, so we have a meeting place about a kilometre from the school, and the staff and students meet there in the morning and then walk down to school. We do the same at the end of the day too. It’s good for the kids to get involved in learning about a healthy lifestyle.”

Pedestrian Council of Australia chief executive Harold Scruby said the day was an important way of tackling childhood obesity.

“The extremely disturbing childhood obesity epidemic continues to affect 1 in 4 children at critical levels across Australia,” he said.

“The best exercise for all of us is regular walking.

“Children require at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity. We should encourage them to include walking at the beginning, during and end of each day.”