Get off the couch

Times-Herald Editorial Staff
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Put the screen down and get moving.

That is the message being sent to parents and kids, alike, after a study scored Canadian kids with a D-minus in the first global report card on childhood physical activity.

Dr. Mark Tremblay is the chief scientific officer for Active Healthy Kids Canada, a non-profit group that issued the report on Tuesday.

He stated that overprotective “bubblewrap” parents and schools have put around children is partly to blame.

National guidelines recommend that school-aged children should get at least one hour of heart-pumping activity each day. Only four per cent of youth aged 12 to 17 are meeting that target.

That is an atrocious number.

For a country like Canada, that has organized sports year round as well as ample parks, that number should make the country feel sick.

Researchers, however, did state that families shouldn’t just be relying on those organized sports to be taking care of their kids.

The report also stated that there are ample places for kids to break a sweat. It suggested that schools could provide more opportunities for students to move more and be less sedentary during the day.

That should just be the start, but parents also have a role in their children’s fitness.

If a parent takes the initiative to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, the chances their children will continue to be active as they grow is higher.

That is hard to do when Canadian kids spend hours in front of screens instead of playing on trees and in the dirt.

It is easier for parents to drive their kids to school rather than them walk or bike.

With the nice weather now upon us in the city, encourage your kids to go for a jog or a bike ride around the block.

Take advantage of the abundant trails throughout Moose Jaw, including the beautiful Wakamow trails.

Obesity in adults and children is no secret in Canada. Approximately one in four adults are obese, according to the Obesity in Canada report from 2011. Children aged six to 17 are 8.6 per cent obese.

It is time to put down the phone, tablet and shut off the computer and get outside and break a sweat.

Do it for yourself. Do it for the children.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by editorial staff.

Organizations: Active Healthy Kids Canada, Obesity

Geographic location: Canada, Moose Jaw

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