Only 7% of Canadian children accumulate the recommended public health guideline of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) each day (Colley et al., 2011).
A big part of influencing children’s activity level is the amount of encouragement and importance that the parents place on the activity level of their children. Registering them into different organized sports and or activities is a popular way to ensure and encourage activity. Of course in order to do this, there has to be the accessibility of both what is available and if it is affordable.
Another recommendation might be setting up regular play-dates with neighbourhood and/or friends’ children and take turns chaperoning.
Trying more active games at home other than video or computer games which mostly involve only sitting. Get the whole family involved in activity. Try bowling, go for a walk, build a snowman. The more active the parents tend to be and the more they place importance on regular activity, the more inclined the children will get on board.
Alberta Centre for Active Living
Corinne Cutler is an Exercise Specialist at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.