ParticipACTION launches national movement to move



    Canadians need to move more

    TORONTO, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - Today, ParticipACTION, the voice and champion of
physical activity in Canada, along with its partners including the Government
of Canada, celebrated its return with the launch of a public awareness
campaign aimed at inspiring Canadians to move more. Originally established in
1971, ParticipACTION was reinvigorated to help deal with the inactivity and
obesity crisis that is facing Canada.
    The launch of the awareness campaign was kicked off by a symbolic walk
with the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, and the Honourable
Helena Guergis, Secretary of State, Foreign Affairs and International Trade
and Sport, who joined ParticipACTION staff and board members in a stroll from
West Block to Confederation Building in Ottawa.
    "There has never been a more critical time for Canadians to get off their
couches and get in motion. If we don't deal with this inactivity crisis, we
could soon see a generation of children who have shorter life expectancies
than ours. This would be an unprecedented and historical shift," says Kelly
Murumets, President and CEO of ParticipACTION. "Today marks the start of a new
movement in Canada - a movement to move. We urge Canadians to join."
    ParticipACTION's public awareness campaign is targeted to all Canadians
with an emphasis on parents and Canadian youth. With only nine per cent of
Canadian children and youth (aged 5 to 19) meeting the recommended guidelines
in Canada's Physical Activity Guides for Children and Youth(1),
ParticipACTION's new ads seek to show the implications of youth inactivity and
motivate parents to make physical activity a priority at home. The campaign
will include TV and radio advertisements that will run nationally from October
2007 to March 2008, and a content rich website (www.participACTION.com)
complete with tips, resources and information for Canadians.
    "The inactivity and obesity crisis we are facing will have a major impact
on our health, our society and our economy if Canadians don't get more active
in the very near future," says Minister Tony Clement. "Canada's New Government
strongly supports ParticipACTION as an organization that promotes physical
activity because there is an undeniable need for change."
    Physical inactivity can lead to a host of chronic degenerative conditions
and premature death(2). With more than half of Canadians considered
inactive,(3) Canada is facing an inactivity and obesity crisis that will not
only impact individuals' health, but also society and the economy. The
economic burden of physical inactivity in Canada is estimated at $5.3
billion.(4)
    "We are not asking Canadians to make dramatic changes to their lifestyle
or to suddenly join the gym but rather to integrate movement into their daily
routines," says Helena Guergis, Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and
International Trade) (Sport). "Whether it's taking the stairs instead of the
elevator, walking your kids to school or even raking leaves, there are many
simple things we can do in our daily routines to get us moving more."
    To inspire Canadians to move more, ParticipACTION will run public
awareness campaigns, provide leadership and support to the physical activity,
recreation and sport sectors so that all organizations and initiatives are
united and coordinated, and it will work with its partners to advocate for
policy change and action that supports physical activity in Canada.
ParticipACTION will also be a resource for Canadians and provide information
about the inactivity issue and tips for how to integrate movement into daily
life.

    About ParticipACTION

    ParticipACTION is the voice and champion for physical activity in and for
Canada. Originally established in 1971, ParticipACTION was relaunched in 2007
to help prevent the looming inactivity and obesity crisis that faces Canada.
As a national not-for-profit organization solely dedicated to inspiring and
supporting healthy and active living for Canadians, it will work 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 the Public Health Agency of
Canada and Sport Canada. For more information visit www.participACTION.com.

    A photo is available on the newswire.

    ------------------------------
    (1) Source: Canadian Physical Activity Levels Among Youth (CANPLAY) Study
    2005-2006
    (2) Katzmarzyk PT, Janssen I. The economic costs associated with physical
    inactivity and obesity in Canada: an update. Can J Appl Physiol. 2004
    Feb 29(1):90-115
    (3) Physical Activity Monitor. Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research
    Institute. 2004
    (4) Katzmarzyk P, Gledhill N, and Shepard R: The economic burden of
    physical inactivity in Canada. CMAJ 2000; 163(11):1435-40

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview please contact
Andrea Wooland, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (416) 413-4698,
andrea.wooland@hillandknowlton.ca; Amy Diniz, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (416)
413-4696; amy.diniz@hillandknowlton.ca


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