Could our culture of over structuring be at fault for the embarrassing scores in Canadian children’s physical activity statistics? The numbers start out well, 84% of kids aged 3-4 are getting their recommended daily activity, but the problem hits like a tonne of bricks when the percentage of kids aged 5-11 who are expected only 60 minutes of moderate-vigorous physical activity plummets down to 7%.
How can that be? Moms and dads all over the country are wondering the same thing. We get our kids to hockey, dance and they do P.E. in gym class. Evidently we aren’t making the grade and it’s likely that our “culture of convenience” is partially at fault. While parents are relying on structured activities to clock the hours, we aren’t walking to school and we spend a third of the time at practice sitting on the bench.
Despite scoring in the 90s for availability of outdoor spaces and public facilities, we’re simply not using them. I propose, as parents of young children, we start turning over a new leaf by focusing in on the areas where we did so poorly and seeing how we can incorporate them into our daily lives. The more we make a habit of things like active transportation and active play, the more naturally healthy our families will become. Take a look at the official Is Canada In The Running document below to see the statistics and make your own decisions on how your family can help Canada find our place at the top of the rankings, where we surely belong.
To read the full report and sources click here.
Based on a report by Active Healthy Kids Canada