If you think kids can get a little physical activity and then play video games into the wee hours while still remaining healthy, you’re in for a rude awakening.
The ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the most comprehensive assessment of child and youth physical activity in Canada. The 2016 edition has for the first time assigned a grade specifically to sleep and includes new Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth: and Integration of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep. These new Guidelines state that children and youth need a combination of high levels of physical activity, low levels of sedentary behaviour, and sufficient sleep each day to be healthy—simply, they need to Sweat, Step, Sleep and Sit the right amounts.
Unfortunately, children and youth are spending way too much time being sedentary and not enough time moving:
- Only 9 per cent of 5-17 year olds get the recommended 60 minutes of heart-pumping activity they need each day
- Only 24 per cent of 5-17 year olds meet the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommending no more than two hours of screen time per day
- Only 10 per cent of 11-15 year olds in Canada meet the screen time recommendation of no more than two hours per day, and only 20 per cent of the same age group report at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on all seven days of the week.
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