Get Active Toronto report reveals an epidemic of physical inactivity

Local response to national Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card

TORONTO, April 27 /CNW/ - The 2010 Get Active Toronto Report on Physical Activity, released today, paints a disturbing picture of the lack of physical activity among Toronto residents. The report is a local response to the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card, also launching today.

The Get Active Toronto report shows that 44% of Torontonians 18 and over identify as being overweight or obese. Other areas of concern include physical activity levels, screen time and sports participation. Some key findings:

    
    -   40% of youth (12-19 years) - and more than 50% of girls in this age
        group - were inactive in 2007/8
    -   The average youth in Toronto spent close to 20 hours per week in
        front of a computer or television screen
    -   Most students in grades 7-12 do not participate in any sports on a
        weekly basis
    

Community stakeholders gathered to discuss the report and its ramifications at this morning's Get Active Toronto Summit. Participants are looking at ways to take action on negative aspects of the report and seek solutions to the physical inactivity epidemic.

"Get Active Toronto, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, is comprised of organizations and individuals who truly have 'skin in the game' when it comes to a commitment for building a healthier Toronto," says Tom Anselmi, Co-Chair, Private Sector, Get Active Toronto's Board of Directors and COO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. "We believe that cross-sectoral teams of committed partners can close the gap in the landscape of physical activity by working together to reduce or eliminate barriers to enable a more physically active population."

The Get Active Toronto Summit is supported by Sun Life Financial and other members of the Get Active Toronto Board, a balanced group of senior organizations from the Public, Private and Voluntary Sector who bring resources and expertise that will mobilize resources for a more active Toronto. According to Rahul Bhardwaj, President and CEO of the Toronto Community Foundation, Trustee for the Get Active Toronto collaboration, "GAT's power is in the diverse leadership working together to address a complex issue. We want to shape a new vision and develop a culture of activity - it will take ideas from across the city and from all sectors to make it happen." Get Active Toronto received a three year, $225,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario, to enable it to develop leadership, form partnerships and launch communications to increase levels of physical activity in Toronto.

"A physically active population is a vital part of a healthy city", said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health. "Get Active Toronto seeks to engage organizations in our community to take action to reduce the physical activity deficit."

    
                             Get Active Toronto

    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    Corus Entertainment
    Environics Analytics
    Justin Poy Agency
    Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
    Sun Life
    The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
    The Toronto Jays Care Foundation
    Toronto Catholic District School Board
    Toronto Community Foundation
    Toronto District School Board
    Toronto Parks Forestry and Recreation
    Toronto Public Health
    Toronto Sports Council
    YMCA of Greater Toronto
    

SOURCE YMCA of Greater Toronto

For further information: For further information: Cat Girotti, Manager, Get Active Toronto, (647) 267-9040, Cat.girotti@ymcagta.org

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YMCA of Greater Toronto

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