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Physical activity report cards

Every year ParticipACTION puts together a report card that provides valuable information about how Canadians are doing with respect to their levels of physical activity.

ParticipACTION’s Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth provides valuable information about child and youth physical activity in Canada.

The 2022 ParticipACTION Report Card titled “Lost & Found” acknowledges that pandemic-related challenges impacted opportunities for physical activity. “Pandemic cancellations and lockdowns gave families who never previously struggled to access physical activity a glimpse into the reality that many in Canada have faced since long before we had ever heard of COVID-19. Let’s lean into that empathy and speak up for children and youth whose gender, race, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation has for too long excluded them from equal access to physical activity and sport.” 2022 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

COVID-19 influenced a decline in physical activity that affected everyone but had a greater impact on equity-deserving groups. When active play with friends, in-person physical education classes and sport competitions came to a halt, many children missed out on opportunities to grow strong, develop skills and connect with peers. Physical activity efforts should aim to reduce inequalities and inequities (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status). There are many ways to add physical activity to our day doing normal activities such as traveling to a destination, activities at home, etc. 

This year’s D grade in “Overall Physical Activity” reflects a substantial drop in kids’ movement. Only 28% of children and youth met the physical activity recommendation within the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. 

Other grades include: an F for “Sedentary Behaviour”, a B for “Sleep”, and an F for overall “24-Hour Movement Behaviours”.

What can we do as a family to support healthy movement behaviours of kids?
There is a lot we can do as family to encourage and support healthy movement behaviours with our children and youth.

  • Set expectations for how much physical activity children should get each day.
  • Create routines to help children to meet the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines.
  • Be active as a family - this encourages physical activity, social support, connectedness and attachment, which are all important for good mental health.
  • Encourage more outdoor time in nature to increase physical activity, decrease sedentary behaviour and improve emotional well-being and sleep.
  • Incorporate more opportunities for active transportation - walk, bike, wheel, skateboard, scooter or take transit to school, stores, parks and activities.
  • Be a good role model by being physically active, limiting your own sedentary behaviour and screen time.
  • Break up time spent sitting, set limits around screen time and remove screens from children's bedrooms.

Check out all the great information and tips found in the Report Card for Children and Youth here.

In 2021, ParticipACTION released a report card on adult physical activity. This report card focuses on moving toward a better normal since Canada is facing a physical inactivity crisis that has been deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report card provides indicators and grades for a number of specific movement behaviours that may occur over a 24-hour period.

Some of the grades and key points include:

Grade C for Total Daily Steps. This refers to the number of steps an individual takes throughout the day. Only 49% of adults take at least 7,500 steps per day, down slightly from 52% in the previous report card.  Every step counts toward overall health and well-being.  Some physical activity is better than none.  Take more steps throughout the day.

Grade C for Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity.  This refers to physical activity that increases heart rate and breathing such as brisk walking, tennis, cycling, swimming, dancing etc.). Only 49% of adults are getting at least 150 minutes of this type of physical activity every week as recommended for health. 

Grade F for Active Transportation.  This refers to any form of human-powered transportation, such as walking, cycling/wheeling to get to and from places.  Active transportation is an effective way to fit regular physical activity into daily life.  Only 7% of adults use active transportation.  Active transportation is also a great way to be social and help our environment.

Grade D for Sport Participation. This type of activity can contribute to the total amount of recommended daily physical activity.  Just 27% of adults participate in sports, and participation usually decreases with age.  Sport participation can support people to age well, maintain health, feel part of the community, and develop relationships.

Check out all of the great information and tips found in the Report Card for Adults here.

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