Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Canadian Kids Don't Make the Grade for Physical Activity

Source: The Guardian (Summary by NIM)

What ever happened to playing outside? Oh yeah - computers. OK it's not that simple (obviously), but the future of our country may be losing out on enjoying good health by being inactive as kids!

According to a recent report card from Active Healthy Kids Canada, a growing proportion of Canada's kids are overweight or obese. The report card shows that Canadian children are accumulating a whopping 6 hours of screen time on weekdays and 7 hours on weekend days! That includes watching TV and playing on the computer.

Since the years before five are critical for growth and development in children, being inactive, overweight or obese can and does have serious, life-long effects on health. According to Marc Tremblay of Active Healthy Kids Canada, "Young children that are overweight or obese, or sedentary or inactive tend to follow those behaviour patterns later on into childhood and into adulthood."

Of course, there are myriad factors that influence physical activity in children, but is it really that difficult to devote the recommended 2 hours a day to moving around? Especially when you consider the fact that it can be accumulated over many sessions and as part of play, games, transportation and recreation!

Find out more about this issue by checking out the article called "
Encouraging kids to be active and healthy" from the Guardian (May 10, 2010). You can also access Active Healthy Kids Canada's report card by clicking here.