Turn Off the T.V. and Turn on to Life!
Get Out and Get Active!
Research has shown
that more than half of Canadian children are not active enough for optimal
growth and development. From 1981 to
1996, the prevalence of overweight children doubled, and obesity tripled for
both boys and girls. Increased reliance
on television, video games, and computer technology as pastimes for children,
and the diminishing priority of physical activity in Canadian schools, are cited
by experts as the major reasons for the growing numbers of sedentary children
The first-ever-national physical activity guidelines for children and youth (Children and Youth Physical Activity Guides) recommend that sedentary children and youth increase physical activity by 30 to 90 minutes per day and decrease by at least 90 minutes per day the amount of time watching videos and being on the computer. This increase in physical activity should combine moderate activity (e.g. brisk walking, skating, and bike riding) and vigorous activity (e.g. running and playing soccer).
To complement the Guides, Health Canada and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology released new resources. The message is clear: Turn Off the Screens and Turn On Physical Activity. The resources are to assist families, educators, politicians and policy makers to act immediately to address the alarming rise in the incidence of child and youth physical inactivity and obesity.
The resources are divided into two age categories to address the needs of ages 6-9 and 10-14. The resources include a family guide, a teacher guide, an interactive magazine for children called “Gotta Move” and “Let’s Get Active Magazine” for youth. A colourful chart with unique stickers is also available to let kids track their progress to becoming physically active.
The good news is that all the resources are free from Health Canada. Families and teachers can order by calling toll free 1-888-334-9769 or online at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hppb/paguide/onlineorder.html.
Public Health is promoting a Turn Off the Screens Challenge April 7-11 2003. Students and their families will be encouraged to turn off their TV and computer screens and turn on physical activity. Stay tuned for more information or contact Public Health at .