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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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