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Kid Companions- Chewelry: Apr 29, 2010

April 29, 2010

Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

April 27, 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada reported they found that only 12% of children and youth are reaching the target of a minimum 90 minutes of daily moderate physical activity. For the fourth year in a row, Canadian kids received a failing grade for their levels of activity

“We’re not making any progress — we must turn this physical activity crisis around,” Kelly Murumets, president and CEO of ParticipAction, said, referring to the national Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.

After spending a sedentary day in school, kids are returning home to sit once again in front of their television, computer, video game screens, Smartphone or spending hours chatting or texting to their friends. Reports even say some Canadian youth are accumulating 6 hours of screen time on weekdays and over 7 hours on weekend days. Moreover, high screen time is associated with reduced academic achievement.

“The data from this year’s report is extremely alarming,” Kelly Murumets said. “Truly, if we don’t start addressing children and youths’ physical activity levels, we’re basically mortgaging their future and bankrupting Canada’s health care costs, which are no longer sustainable.”

These are some of the grim statistics of this year’s Active Healthy Kids Canada’s report:
* 90% of children begin watching TV before their second birthday. It is recommended that there should be no TV watching under the age of two. TV viewing should be limited to 1 hour for kids 2-5.
* 15% of two- to five-year-old Canadians are overweight.
* 6.3% of two-to-five year old Canadians are obese.
* It is estimated that overweight 2-5-year-olds are four times as likely to be overweight as adults.
* 89% of kids in childcare centre settings were sedentary.
*20% of boys aged 5-10 years are getting the 90 minutes of moderate daily exercise.
*15% of boys aged 11-14 years are meeting the guidelines.
* 5% of adolescent girls are getting their minimum 90 minutes daily exercise.
*In grade 6, 55% of boys and 53% of girls participate in school sports.
* By grade 12, 41% of boys and 27% of girls participate in school sports.

Dr. Mark Tremblay, Chief Scientific Officer of Healthy Kids Canada, warns if we don’t start healthy habits at an early age, chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and weight issues could set in and shorten lives.

Active play may be lots of fun for youngsters, but it’s certainly not frivolous,” says Tremblay. “Children under the age of five actually require plenty of active play for healthy physical, social, emotional and cognitive development.”

“Our youngest generation deserves a strong start in life,” says Michelle Brownrigg, CEO of Active Healthy Kids Canada. “We have the opportunity to secure a healthier future for our young children by ensuring that policies mandate daily physical activities in schools and childcare facilities, investing in safe parks and play structures, and providing caregivers and educators with training and support to provide adequate physical activity opportunities to kids.”

Visit to download the long and short versions of the Report Card and access free presentations, articles and media materials that will help you further understand e the 2010 Report Card findings.

What are your fun, easy ways to get kids active?

Related Post:
Benefits of Daily Physical Activity for Children
My Child Does Not Like Sports or Any Physical Activity ~ Now What?
Girls Lack of Physical Activity Begins With the Way They Dress
Adaptive Sports and Physical Activities for Special Needs Children

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