Active Healthy Kids Canada released its report on the daily physical activity of Canadian children and youth. The results are not good.
Active Healthy Kids Canada (AHKC) released a report today failing Canadian youths on their daily physical activity. Only seven percent of children and youth are meeting Canada’s guidelines for a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
According to the report, despite 92 percent of children saying they would choose playing with friends over watching television, they end up spending 63 percent of their free time after school and on weekends being sedentary.
Aside from the overall failing grade for Canadian children and youths, AHKC provided grades for different aspects of daily life.
Active Play and Leisure and Screen-Based Sedentary Behaviours
AHKC assigned failing grades to the categories Active Play & Leisure and Screen-Based Sedentary Behaviours. These grades were based on the fact that 46 percent of kids between six and 11 get three hours or less of active play (unstructured physical activity) per week, including weekends. Also, children and youth get an average of seven hours and 48 minutes of time in front of a screen per day. Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend no more than two hours of recreational screen time per day.
The report cites the emergence of over-protective parenting forcing children into highly controlled environments—built with a focus on screen technology—as a force limiting opportunities for active play.
Active Transportation and Family Physical Activity
Canadian kids also received D+ grades for Active Transportation and Family Physical Activity. According to the report, only 35 percent of kids aged 10 to 16 use active transportation to get to school. These habits peak at age 10 and then decline as they get older. Only 15 percent of Canadian adults meet the minimum requirement of 150 minutes of physical activity per week, and only 38 percent of Canadian parents say they often play active games with their children.
Importance of play
According to AHKC, play has been shown to foster and improve:
Getting kids active
Kids in their early years
Kids of all ages
Read more about the benefits of play.
And don’t forget, even adults need time to play.