Walking to school

Saskatchewan in Motion is encouraging youngsters to try walking to school. (The Associated Press)

A group that promotes exercise is challenging youngsters in Saskatchewan to walk to school.

The group — Saskatchewan in Motion — says that compared to their parents, the number of Canadian youngsters who walk to school is down by nearly 30 per cent.

The group notes that, overall, just one in three children walks to school nowadays.

To encourage walking as a form of exercise, the group wants youngsters to try walking to school next week.

"We just really want parents to get their kids to try walking once," Amanda Perry, from Saskatchewan in Motion, said. "Even if it's just really one day. They'll see how easy it is and their kids will be excited."

The Walk to School Challenge is set for Oct. 6 to 10.

Perry said there are other benefits to walking, in addition to the exercise.

"They get some independence from walking to school," she said. "They get to spend time with their friends, if they get to walk with their friends. And they will be relaxed and ready to learn when they get to school."

The group is providing students from schools participating in the walk challenge with neon shoelaces. Participants will also be entered to win prizes.

Schools in the challenge will be eligible for a $1,000 prize. Students who take "selfies" of themselves walking to school can also win a prize.