ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador is raising concerns that Canadian children and youth do not get enough physical activity.
It comes after the release today, June 19, of the 2018 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, which gave Canadian kids a score of D+ for overall physical activity.
Recreational NL said the grade is especially alarming considering that this year’s report card also highlights important connections between physical activity and brain health in children and youth.
Only 35 per cent of 5- to 17-year-olds and 62 per cent of 3- to 4-year-olds are getting the recommended physical activity levels for their age group, the report card found, and it may be making them less attentive and moody as a result.
Recreation NL said the findings in the ParticipACTION’s report card are in line with and support its Find Your Fit campaign, a province wide physical activity campaign designed to get individuals motivated and moving towards healthy, active living.
“Now more than ever, we need to encourage children and youth to substitute screen time with more physical activity in order to meet the daily minimum of physical activity recommended by the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines,” Jerry Knee, Recreation NL’s physical activity representative, said in a release.
“Physical activity plays an important role in helping children and youth learn better, solve problems more creatively, and develop healthier brains. Physical activity has also been shown to be associated with better memory. In addition, increased physical activity can help support mental health and wellness among children and youth.”
The lowest grades in this year’s report card are a D+ for overall physical activity, D for sedentary behaviours and F for the 24-hour movement behaviours.
Other grades assigned in the report card include:
- “D” for active play and leisure activities
- “D-” for active transportation
- “B” for organized sport participation
- “C-” for physical education
- “B+” for sleep
- “D+” for physical literacy
- “D” for physical fitness
- “C+” for family and peers
- “B-” for school
- “B+” for community and environment
- “C+” for government