For the first time, the grades from the ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth are compared to grades from 37 other countries across six continents. The global comparisons were led by Dr. Mark Tremblay, professor at the University of Ottawa’s Department of Pediatrics, Director of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (HALO-CHEO) and Chief Scientific Officer of the ParticipACTION Report Card. The consolidated findings show Canada has above-global average grades in physical activity infrastructure and programs, yet is trailing at the back of the pack in grades that measure physical activity and sedentary behaviour. The comparisons also reveal kids move the most in countries where being active is a priority or is an integral part of their everyday lifestyle.
“Urbanization, mechanization and an increased use of motorized transport have reduced physical activity levels globally,” said Tremblay. “Canada must resist the decline in habitual movement fueled by these trends – and not just by creating policies, strategies, facilities and bike lanes, but also by encouraging and re-establishing Canadian cultural norms where being physically active year round, through outdoor play, transportation, recreation and sport, are the Canadian standard, not the exception. ”
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