Why encourage children to walk?

Walking is a great way of maintaining health in adults… but also great for children! Encouraging children to walk from the earliest age promotes healthy growth whilst also introducing them to the pleasure of regular physical exercise.

Whether to prevent the risk of excess weight or simply to share a family moment, walking is beneficial for the whole family!

The importance of encouraging physical activity in children

Children's behaviour has significantly changed over the past few years. Today, young people spend more and more time in front of screens (television, video games, tablet computers) than practising regular physical activity. Even journeys by foot have considerably reduced, replaced by public transport or journeys by car.

This reduction in activity leads to a gradual increase in the fat stores in the body, to the detriment of the muscle mass. Little by little, the child will feel tired more quickly and the pleasure of practising sport will be reduced.

When a sedentary lifestyle takes hold, the risk of excess weight increases and can lead to joint problems, or even breathing complications.

Adopting a healthy and active lifestyle from childhood remains the best form of prevention today. Parents' watchword should be: "Move, every day!".

This can include when playing games, practising sports or simply by walking!

The benefits of walking on your child's health

Practised 30 minutes per day, walking presents many benefits to children.

  1. Walking is relaxing
    A child who walks to school is better at concentrating than their classmates who come to school by car. Walking home from school also gives the child a chance to let off steam, after a day spent sitting down!
  2. Walking develops ’independence
    On the way, invite your child to choose the direction to walk. They may decide to take a short cut, or to extend the walk or even to stop in a park to eat their after-school snack. This responsibility helps them to grow and to become aware of what surrounds them.
  3. Walking improves mood
    Walking outdoors is ideal for clearing the head and benefiting from natural daylight. Practised regularly and consciously, walking also contributes to developing a more positive body image.
  4. Walking tones the whole body
    When practised for more lengthy periods, walking participates in developing cardiac and respiratory capacity. It helps your child's weight to be controlled and strengthens the muscles in their legs, feet and arms if you choose to walk more quickly!

Remember to buy your child suitable active walking shoes!

Walking with your child: a shared moment

By walking more often with your child, you will be adding a relaxing moment to the day. This will be a welcome decompression chamber for reducing stress and making you more available for your loved ones.

During this special time spent with your child, you will take the time to listen to them and therefore improve your relationship.

And on the way, you will be giving them a taste for physical activity: a precious gift for keeping healthy as they grow up!


If you are already a fan of active walking, you will already know what this activity can offer in terms of health and well-being. The benefits of walking can be felt at any age and especially by children, who are particularly at risk of excess weight due to a sedentary lifestyle.


From birth to adulthood, your child's feet have a long road to travel before they reach maturity. The structure and needs of their feet will develop over time, from the moment when they first start to walk. We'll tell you all you need to know about helping your child's feet grow healthily!


Whatever your age or physical condition, Dr. Patrick Bacquaert, head doctor of the IRBMS ("Institut de Recherche du Bien-être, de la Médecine et du Sport Santé" – sports medicine and well-being research institute) recommends fitness walking to take care of your health.Find out why in this video!