For the last three years, Active Healthy Kids Canada has graded the physical activity levels of Canada’s young people. For the third straight year, Canada has received a dismal D grade.
The group states that each time they measure physical activity levels among children and youth more accurately, they find that the issue of child and youth physical inactivity in Canada is an even larger public health concern than previously believed.
They’ve found that inactivity significantly worsens as children grow older, and teenagers, especially teen girls, are less active now than they ever have been. Children and youth report spending twice as much time in front of a screen as they do engaged in physical activity. These factors not only contribute to increases in overweight and obesity, but are now also associated with increasing reports of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
The group recommends: engage and empower youth to get active, and target after-school hours for increasing physical activity opportunities. In possibly related news, six of Toronto’s school/community pools are still slated for closure on September 1st.
Photo of Michael C. Harris, circa 1977, by David Harris.