Do you love kids and humanity? Or do you like less traffic, lower taxes and better health care?
Whether you are concerned about humanity, your own well being or scared of the Wall-E movie everyone has a reason that they should care about children’s activity levels.
While June’s Participaction report gave Canadian kids a D for physical activity, a recent study ranking Canadian kids at the bottom of the pack of 37 countries for physical activity further cemented the state of Canadian children. While Canadian kids rank highly for getting active through school and organized sport, Canadian kids don’t fare well in active transportation, active play and time spend sedentary. Even if you’ve lived under a rock you’d had to have noticed that childhood today looks vastly different than that of yesteryear. Electronics have largely replaced kids outdoor time and while drastically changing kids play habits may seem out of reach, there are simple things that everybody can do to encourage kids and even adults to move more.
- If you have a sketchy van don’t park it by playgrounds or schools. Also avoid giving kids candy and puppies and taking pictures of them.
- Drive Courteously. The more crazy drivers there are on the roads, the more people think that kids need to be driven everywhere and that they can’t walk or play outside. Obey speed limits, don’t honk at stop patrollers, let pedestrians cross and let bicyclists have their space.
- Don’t diss the Pokemon Go or whatever weird fad seems to get kids or adults outdoors or moving more.
- Let the skate parks, the street hockey and balls kicked into your yard happen. It’s kind of sad that Calgary has become a place where residents oppose the planting of trees in their neighborhood.
- Support your local community association or resident association. Oftentimes they create great spaces for kids and adults to get active in the neighborhood, so consider buying a membership and volunteering.
- Head outside and get active more yourself. The more being outside and being active is normalized, the more other kids and adults will start to do it.
Keeping kids active has a huge payoff as it helps them continue to be active and reap the physical and mental health benefits from that for the rest of their life. Keeping kids active benefits everyone and everyone can be part of the solution.