Inactivity among youth isn't a surprise to anybody, but the recent mark Canadian kids received in an activity "report card" may be an eye-opener.
A new report from Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance says Canadian kids need to get up and move more. The report from the Alliance gave kids a mark of D+ in overall fitness activity, which means only 35% of 5- to 17-year-olds and 62% of 3- to 4-year-olds meet physical activity recommendations.
Those recommendations say children should have 60 minutes of moderate physical activity, 7 hours of structured or unstructured light physical activity, no more than 2 hours of screen time every day, and limited sitting for extended periods of time.
Saskatchewan Health Authority Medical Health Officer Dr. Mark Vooght notices that children are less active than they'd like them to be, but their numbers show a ray of hope for Canadian kids.
Numbers from the health region show that about 60% are doing at least 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity and 80% are doing 30 minutes.
Locally, it's hard to figure out our statistics and a holistic view must be used.
"[The statistic] varies quite a lot you know," Dr. Vooght explained. "The problem with some of our statistics, for example, from Moose Jaw and especially smaller towns and cities is that in these community types of surveys, the numbers are quite low and we can't always rely on data. It's more accurate to have aggregated Canadian data."
Today more than half of Canadians and close to two-thirds of people in the province are overweight or obese, and that's something the health region wants to change, especially in children. For kids, Dr. Vooght says they have their own fitness recommendations.
"The ideal would be is what they call '30,30,30.' In other words, thirty minutes of moderate, vigorous exercise at school, at home, and in the general community. That's playing with your friends and so on, doing scheduled and unscheduled activities."
Dr. Vooght has also noticed fewer people are walking than they did in the past. If people started to walk more, a lot of Canadians would be hitting the physical activity recommendations.
He has also seen that some people have become slaves to their screens. Although he does praise that some people are able to do workouts in front of them and it flies by like it was nothing, some people need to make the effort to do so.
Dr. Vooght wants to add that a child's sleeping schedule is also important to consider in regards to their health. Kids require 8-11 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
While Canadian kids haven't done too well to reach the physical activity recommendation in this recent report, hopefully that could change in the future.