Hopefully your kids aren’t being talked about in this article….are they?
A Toronto health watchdog says 93 per cent of Toronto children are not reaching their recommended level of activity, a situation expected to cause a number of problems in the future.
Get Active Toronto announced on Wednesday that physical activity rates among school-aged children improved slightly over the past year, but remained well below recommended levels, specifically among young girls. Medhat Mahdy, the chair of Get Active Toronto, said 91 per cent of boys between the ages of 6 and 19 years of age fail to reach the recommended six hours a week of moderate to vigorous activity; 97 per cent of girls fail to do the same.
“We need to encourage behavioural changes that increase fitness levels, in fact, the research indicates that something as simple as walking to school is a positive indicator towards children achieving the recommended levels of physical activity,” Mahdy stated. A study in the 2011 Report Physical Activity in Toronto found that high school boys are 50 per cent more likely to take part in sports than girls, and that 10 per cent of high school sports teams are co-ed.
Overall, Canadian youths spend 62 per cent of their time sitting idle. The study finds that Toronto teens spend 19 hours a week in front of a computer or TV. “We are going to have a generation of overweight or obese kids that are sick and unwell,” said Catriona Delaney, manager of Get Active Toronto.
Get Active Toronto says that exercise doesn’t need to be difficult or costly. Children who walk to school were twice as likely to reach the recommended level of activity as children who were driven to school.
George Kourtis, the health and physical education coordinator for the Toronto District School Board, said children do don’t get enough exercise tend to suffer from increased anxiety, depression and mood disorders.
“You can look healthy and still suffer from anxiety and depression. It’s that lack of endorphins being released when you exercise,” How do your kids get their exercise? Any ideas to help other parents who may be struggling?