Active Healthy Kids Canada Releases 2013 Report Card on Physical
Activity for Children and Youth
TORONTO, May 21, 2013 /CNW/ - With a steady rise in the use of the car,
and a strong decline in kids getting to and from school and after
school activities on their own steam, we have to ask ourselves: are we
driving our kids to unhealthy habits?
The 2013 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for
Children and Youth, released today, reports that many Canadian children
and youth are driven to and from destinations, and assigns a "D" grade
for Active Transportation. Active transportation - walking, biking,
wheeling, in-line skating or skateboarding to get to and from places
such as school, parks and shops - has long been known to be an
important source of physical activity for children and youth1,2,3,4 but has seen a rapid decline in the last generation. While 58 per cent
of parents walked to school when they were kids, only 28 per cent of
their children walk to school today.5 In addition to this generational shift, 62 per cent of Canadian youth,
aged five to 17, use only inactive modes of transportation to get to
and from school.6
"By driving our kids to and from their destinations, we may be robbing
them of an important source of physical activity, and contributing to
lifelong unhealthy habits," says Dr. Mark Tremblay, Chief Scientific
Officer, Active Healthy Kids Canada. "Active transportation presents an
easy, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to increase
physical activity levels among children and youth, and its benefits are
significant. In fact, if we encouraged our kids to walk for trips less
than a kilometre, they could bank an additional 10 to 15 minutes of
physical activity per trip!"
Barriers, such as distance between home and school, as well as safety
concerns, have forced our kids into the car and contributed to the
decline in active transportation and overall physical activity levels.
Today's fast paced world finds parents are more likely to drive their
children to their end destination if they perceive that driving them
saves time or is more convenient.7 And while 66 per cent of Canadian adults agree or strongly agree that
their neighbourhood is safe for children to walk to and from school,
today's children are less likely to be allowed to walk or bike to
neighbourhood destinations without adult supervision.8
"Today's youth spend less time walking, and walk shorter distances, than
their parents did as children," says Kelly Murumets, President and CEO,
ParticipACTION. "With only five per cent of five to 17 year olds
meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, it is important to
find simple solutions to help increase their physical activity levels.
By making small changes to the way we travel to destinations, we can
have a big impact on the physical activity levels of our children. Not
only will we help get them closer to achieving the recommended
Guidelines, but we will also provide opportunities for social
engagement with their peers."
"Active transportation can easily be integrated into everyday life at
little or no cost. Collective action needs to be taken - by parents and
families, policymakers, and schools - to ensure that Canadian children
and youth are reaping the benefits of active transportation," says
Jennifer Cowie Bonne, CEO, Active Healthy Kids Canada. "Schools should
consider implementation of safe walk-to-school travel plans and provide
bike racks, and government strategies should ensure urban planning that
supports safe communities for biking and walking."
Among the 17 grades assigned in the Report Card, key grades include:
"D" for Active Transportation
"F" for Sedentary Behaviour
"C" for Family Physical Activity
An overall grade of "D-" for Physical Activity Levels
Full copies of the short-form and long-form Report Card, plus free
presentations, articles and media materials, can be found at www.activehealthykids.ca.
About the Report Card
The Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for
Children and Youth is the most comprehensive annual assessment of child
and youth physical activity in Canada. Active Healthy Kids Canada works
with its strategic partners to develop and disseminate the Report Card.
The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute's Healthy
Active Living and Obesity Research Group (CHEO-HALO), works with an
interdisciplinary Research Work Group that includes top researchers
from across Canada, to ensure that the Report Card includes the most
up-to-date evidence about physical activity for children and youth.
ParticipACTION provides strategic communications expertise and support
to produce and deliver the Report Card.
Production of the Report Card is possible through support from The
Lawson Foundation, the George Weston Foundation through its
Wonder+Cares funding program, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Loblaw
Companies Limited, Cardel Place, the MLSE Foundation and provincial and
territorial governments through the Sport Physical Activity and
About Active Healthy Kids Canada
Active Healthy Kids Canada is a national charitable organization
established in 1994 with a mission to inspire the country to engage all
children and youth in physical activity. We provide expertise and
direction to policy-makers and the public on how to increase physical
activity for Canadian children and youth, and effectively allocate
resources and attention to the issue. Our vision is to create a nation
of active healthy kids. Advancing knowledge is the cornerstone of our
business. Our primary method is the annual Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children
and Youth. Through strategic partnerships with funders, governments,
non-government organizations, research groups and others, we produce
Canada's most comprehensive yearly assessment of physical activity
opportunities for Canadian children and youth.
The Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) is located
within the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
(Ottawa, Canada). HALO provides international leadership and research
excellence in healthy active living for the promotion of health and
wellness in children and youth, including the prevention, management
and treatment of obesity. The HALO team is comprised of a
multidisciplinary group of research scientists, clinicians, research
staff, administrative support personnel, graduate and practicum
students, post-doctoral fellows and medical interns and residents.
Working with local, provincial, national and international partners and
stakeholders, HALO is committed to advancing the understanding and
importance of promoting healthy active living, with a mission to
preserve, enhance and restore the health and wellness of our most
precious resource, our children.
ParticipACTION is the national voice of physical activity and sport
participation in Canada. Originally established in 1971, ParticipACTION
was re-launched in 2007 to help prevent the looming inactivity crisis
that faces Canada. As a national not-for-profit organization solely
dedicated to inspiring and supporting healthy and active living for
Canadians, it works with its partners, which include sport, physical
activity, recreation organizations, government and corporate sponsors,
to inspire and support Canadians to move more. ParticipACTION is
generously supported by Sport Canada. For more information, visit www.participACTION.com.
1 Faulkner GEJ, Buliung RN, Flora PK, Fusco C. Active school transport,
physical activity levels and body weight of children and youth: a
systematic review. Prev Med. 2009;49:3-8.
2 Larouche R, Saunders T, Faulkner GEJ, Colley RC, Tremblay MS.
Associations between active school transport and physical activity,
body composition and cardiovascular fitness: a systematic review of 68
studies. J Phys Act Health. 2012. [Epub ahead of print]
3 Lee MC, Orenstein MR, Richardson MC. Systematic review of active
commuting to school and children's physical activity and weight. J Phys
4 Morency C, Demers M. Active transportation as a way to increase
physical activity among children. Child Care Hlth Dev.
5 Stone MR, Mammen G, Faulkner G. Canadian School Travel Planning
Intervention Results (National Report). (2010-12). Submitted to the
Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, under the Coalitions Linking
Action and Science for Prevention (CLASP) initiative, and Green
Communities Canada. April 1, 2012.
6 Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute. 2010 Physical
Activity Monitor. Bulletin 12: Transportation among children and youth.
Ottawa: Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute; 2012.
7 Faulkner GEJ, Richichi V, Buliung RN, Fusco C, Moola F. What's
"quickest and easiest?" Parental decision making about school trip
mode. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2010;7:62.
8 Fyhri A, Hjorthol R, Mackett RL, Fotel TN, Kytta M. Children's active
travel and independent mobility in four countries: development, social
contributing trends and measures. Transp Pol. 2011;18:703-710.
Video with caption: "Video:key interviews with Active Healthy Kids Canada and ParticipACTION spokespeople". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20130521_C8420_VIDEO_EN_26891.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20130521_C8420_PHOTO_EN_26891.jpg&clientName=Active%20Healthy%20Kids%20Canada&caption=Video%3Akey%20interviews%20with%20Active%20Healthy%20Kids%20Canada%20and%20ParticipACTION%20spokespeople&title=ACTIVE%20HEALTHY%20KIDS%20CANADA%20%2D&headline=Are%20we%20driving%20our%20kids%20to%20unhealthy%20habits%3F
Video with caption: "Video: B-Roll Active Healthy Kids". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20130521_C8420_VIDEO_EN_26892.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20130521_C8420_PHOTO_EN_26892.jpg&clientName=Active%20Healthy%20Kids%20Canada&caption=Video%3A%20B%2DRoll%20Active%20Healthy%20Kids&title=ACTIVE%20HEALTHY%20KIDS%20CANADA%20%2D%20%3F&headline=Are%20we%20driving%20our%20kids%20to%20unhealthy%20habits%3F
PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/05/21/20130521_C8420_DOC_EN_26900.pdf
PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/05/21/20130521_C8420_DOC_EN_26904.pdf
PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/05/21/20130521_C8420_DOC_EN_26905.pdf
SOURCE: Active Healthy Kids Canada
For further information:
copies of the Report Card or b-roll, to schedule an interview or speak to a spokesperson, please contact:
Hill + Knowlton Strategies