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Turning off the screens and turning on to physical activity
Children from 24 Grey-Bruce schools will be
turning off televisions, video games and computers for a week and taking part
in the first annual Turn off the Screens
Why? More than half of Canadian children and youth are not physically active enough, and they become less active as they get older.
“The number of overweight and obese children
is rising and inactivity is the main cause.
Obese children are at risk for a number of health problems, including
type 2 diabetes, which until recently was found only in adults,” said Dr. Hazel
Lynn, Medical Officer of Health for Grey Bruce. “We know that the number of
physically active adolescents in our area is lower than the rest of
Currently, the average Canadian child watches about 23 hours of TV per week and spends five hours per week on the Internet and playing video games. Research also shows that children who watch a lot of television have higher rates of obesity.
“Turn off the Screens raises the issue of inactivity and “screen time” and gives schools, parents and children the opportunity to develop solutions,” said Betty Perkins, a public health nurse at the Grey Bruce Health Unit. “There are a number of community events planned in Grey Bruce for Turn off the Screens week so families can check out how much fun regular physical activity can be.”
Information kits have been sent home from school to give families ideas about how to go from “couch potato” to “active spud”. Children will be asked to keep a log that is signed daily by parents. Participating schools are eligible to win a bicycle, inline skates and running shoes.
Turn off the Screens is coordinated by the Grey Bruce Health Unit with the participation of 24 schools in the Bluewater District School Board and the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board. Funding is provided by Grey-Bruce Heart Health.
For further information, call Public Health at (519) 881-1920 . Information and forms for the Turn off the Screens challenge can be found under Physical Activity on the Health Unit website located at www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca.
For more information, please contact the Grey Bruce Health Unit:
Local Participating Schools
There are 24 schools and up to 6,292 students participating in the first annual Turn off the Screens event. Media are invited to contact the Grey Bruce Health Unit and the schools listed below for media interviews and more information about the challenge:
We work with the Grey Bruce community to protect and promote health