New National Physical Activity Guidelines

Educational Resources for Physical Activity

Living Healthy Commotions

Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity

PARTICIPACTION: BRING BACK PLAY

The Power of Play

Participaction

Daily Physical Activity Program

25 Great Playground Games

Favorite Active Games (P.Ed. Teachers)

Active School Playgrounds

Living Healthy Commotion - Oct. 14

Do More Watch Less Challenge

CBC Documentary: Brain Gain

CBC Documentary: Sitting Takes Toll on Body

Bulletin Board Display (Healthy Students Healthy Schools)

Links

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

The 2011 Canadian Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth reports that only 9% of boys and 4% of girls meet the ne Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.  The Guidelines stat that for health benefits, children and youth should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.  Kids are sedentary 59% of the time between 3 and 6 p.m. getting only 14 minutes of activity in this 3-hour period.  This lack of physical activity and poor nutrition has lead to a significant increase in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in our youth, with Newfoundland rates leading the country. To help guard against these diseases and other illnesses associated with physical inactivity, it is essential that children and youth engage in active healthy lifestyles.

Active students fit for better grades
New Ontario research shows schools that push fitness and nutrition have watched their standardized scores rise by as much as 50 per cent over two years in Grade 3 reading and 39 per cent in Grade 3 math - outscoring other schools in similar neighborhoods by about eight points across all three subjects.

A landmark study of 33 Ontario schools that are part of a health drive called Living Schools - where students exercise each day, play extra sports and are discouraged from eating junk food - saw overall scores climb by 18 per cent over two years in reading, writing and math, compared to about 4 per cent for similar schools not in the provincially funded program. Principals also said there were fewer fights and better attendance.

The small homegrown study conducted for the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association, echoes a growing body of international research that says daily physical activity which boosts chemicals in the brain such as endorphins and norepinephrine (the fuel behind attention span) and stimulates the hippocampus part of the brain (the key to memory) and also boosts a sense of belonging at school - can cut stress, improve a child's mood and sharpen learning skills. The link is a wake-up call for Canadians shamed last week by a study showing children across the country spend four to six hours a day in front of a screen - landing the nation an F in physical activity. It also has implications for schools that argue they are too busy with literacy programs to find time for Ontario's new 20-minute daily workout.