93% of Toronto Youth are not meeting the recommended daily
requirements needed to derive health benefits from physical activity
TORONTO, May 25, 2011 /CNW/ - Get Active Toronto today released its 2011
Report on Physical Activity in Toronto that revealed continued lower
rates of physical activity among school age children, particularly low
for young girls. While at the same time, Toronto is experiencing the
highest participation in interschool athletics in the last five years.
According to Medhat Mahdy, Chair, Get Active Toronto this year's report
shows some improvements but still much more work to be done.
"We are encouraged that there is an increase in sports participation at
schools in Toronto, the highest in the past five years…but at the same
time still overall low rates of physical activity among children and
young adults age 6-19," said Mahdy.
"We need to encourage behaviourial changes that increase fitness levels,
in fact, the research indicates that something as simple as walking to
school is a positive indicator towards children achieving the
recommended levels of physical activity," he added.
Get Active Toronto (GAT) wants to build partnerships and collaborations
with organizations across all sectors to work through barriers to
physical activity and improve the social determinants that will make
Toronto a healthier more active city by 2020. One step towards this
goal is through GAT's partnership with Playing for Keeps. The goals of
Playing for Keeps initiative aligns with Get Active Toronto's and
together we will create a legacy of healthier, more active and stronger
communities and a deepened sense of belonging by leveraging the 2012
Ontario Summer Games and the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.
2011 Get Active Report Highlights
Lower rates of physical activity among young girls - The Get Active Toronto 2011 report revealed that only 4% of girls aged
6-19 compared to 9% of boys accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate
and physical activity at least six days a week. In addition,
participation in sports by young women is significantly less than
Schools report that resources, space and time in the school day are
still lacking to ensure the required level of student physical activity
- Currently only 14% of children and youth meet appropriate physical
education levels. 37% of schools report that they lack adequate space;
38% of schools say they need more time in the school day; 77% need more
Increase in interschool athletic participation over the past five years - at the secondary level the number of teams has gradually increased
over time and the latest results show the highest level both in terms
of the number of team and the number of student participants. It was
also reported that boys participate in secondary athletics in greater
numbers than girls, 60% to 40%. Fewer than 10% of the secondary level
sports teams are classified as co-ed.
Walking to School increases overall physical activity in children - Toronto children who walk to school were twice as likely to achieve
recommended levels of physical activity in comparison to children who
were driven to school. However, of children living 1-2 km. from their
school - only 28% walk to school and 32% walk home.
Get Active Toronto Recommendations:
Individual, organizational and civic efforts to improve the social
determinants of health in Toronto - generating a more physically active
Toronto as a by-product
Create physical activity programs that engage the whole family to be
more active and make them accessible
Create programs specifically for young girls and newcomer groups to
increase access to physical activity make them accessible
Implement wellness programs and incentives in your workplace
Create opportunities to be physically active on the way to
work/school/home and at work/school/home
Walk, run, play - make physical activity FUN
For the full Get Active Toronto 2011 Report on Physical Activity, please
go to www.getactivetoronto.com
PRESS CONFERENCE DETAILS
Hosted by: Medhat Mahdy, Chair, Get Active Toronto and President and CEO of the
YMCA of Greater Toronto
Rahul Bhardwaj, President & CEO, Toronto Community Foundation
Ontario Trillium Foundation, Toronto Grant Review Team
Photo ops within Metro-Central YMCA.
Launch of 2011 Get Active Toronto Report on Physical Activity
Introduction to Playing for Keeps Where: Metro-Central YMCA, 20
Grosvenor Street, Toronto - Eco Rooftop Garden
When: Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 10:30 a.m. (Press kits available through www.getactivetoronto.com)
SOURCE Get Active Toronto
For further information:
Manager, Get Active Toronto
The Playing for Keeps workshop will be on Monday, May 30th, 2011 at Hart House from 9-3pm. Registration at www.playingforkeeps.ca.