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Report finds only 35% of Canadian youth get the physical activity recommended for brain health


Get­ting kids out­side and active could help with brain health: Par­tic­i­paction report (The Globe and Mail):

The phys­i­cal ben­e­fits of kids lead­ing an active lifestyle, includ­ing bet­ter heart health and a decreased risk of devel­op­ing Type 2 dia­betes, are well known. But a grow­ing body of research sug­gests there are sig­nif­i­cant men­tal ben­e­fits as well, whether it’s low­er­ing stress lev­els or help­ing to treat anx­i­ety and depres­sion. A new report released by Par­tic­i­paction on Tues­day draws atten­tion to this link, and by doing so, hopes to encour­age kids in Cana­da to get mov­ing more.

The Report Card on Phys­i­cal Activ­i­ty for Chil­dren and Youth, released by the non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cat­ed to pro­mot­ing healthy liv­ing and phys­i­cal fit­ness, found that only 35 per cent of five- to 17-year-olds and 62 per cent of chil­dren ages 3 and 4 are get­ting the rec­om­mend­ed phys­i­cal-activ­i­ty lev­els for their age group (Edi­tor’s note: around 60 min­utes of mod­er­ate-to-vig­or­ous phys­i­cal activ­i­ty dai­ly, includ­ing vig­or­ous-inten­si­ty activ­i­ty on at least 3 days per week) and that this may be hav­ing an impact on the health of their brains.

For bet­ter brain health, all chil­dren and youth should be phys­i­cal­ly active on a reg­u­lar basis. In addi­tion to phys­i­cal health ben­e­fits, phys­i­cal activ­i­ty also improves cog­ni­tion, brain func­tion and men­tal health,” accord­ing to the state­ment that accom­pa­nies the report.”

The New Report:


  • Descrip­tion: The Report Card is the most com­pre­hen­sive assess­ment of child and youth phys­i­cal activ­i­ty in Cana­da. It syn­the­sizes data from mul­ti­ple sources, includ­ing the best avail­able peer-reviewed research, to assign evi­dence-informed grades across 14 indi­ca­tors. Over the years, the Report Card has been repli­cat­ed in over 50 cities, provinces and coun­tries, where it has served as a blue­print for col­lect­ing and shar­ing knowl­edge about the phys­i­cal activ­i­ty of young peo­ple around the world. This year, the Report Card includes a new Expert State­ment on Phys­i­cal Activ­i­ty and Brain Health in Chil­dren and Youth and assigns let­ter grades to 14 dif­fer­ent indicators—including two new indi­ca­tors that focus on the 24-Hour Move­ment Behav­iours and Phys­i­cal Fit­ness. Col­lec­tive­ly, the report pro­vides a com­plete and robust assess­ment of how Cana­da is doing as a coun­try regard­ing the pro­mo­tion and facil­i­ta­tion of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty among chil­dren and youth.
  • High­light Report (opens PDF)
  • Expert State­ment (opens PDF)

The Report in Context:

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning, Health & Wellness

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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