YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Supports 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card | YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
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YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Supports 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card

Do you remember the days when kids used to play outside for hours with their friends and come home for dinner feeling exhausted and happy?

The 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, (report highlights | full report), formerly the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card, takes a stand on outdoor and risky active play.

YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Supports 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card

Kids are more likely to be physically active outdoors

According to the ParticipACTION Report Card and Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play, over-supervising kids or keeping them indoors to ensure they are safe limits their opportunities for physical activity, endangering their long-term health.

Despite research showing kids are more likely to be physically active when playing outdoors and less likely to engage in higher levels of physical activity if a supervising adult is present, safety concerns lead to excessive supervision and keeping kids indoors. While some outdoor activities are risky and could lead to injuries, the vast majority are minor, so it’s time to consider getting out of kids’ way to let them play.

 “We have lost the balance between short-term safety and long-term health. In outdoor play, risk doesn’t mean courting danger, but rather giving kids the freedom to assess their surroundings and make decisions, allowing them to build confidence, develop skills, solve problems and learn limits,” says Dr. Mark Tremblay, Chief Scientific Officer, ParticipACTION Report Card, and Director of HALO-CHEO.

“Kids move more when they are outside, have some freedom to roam unsupervised and engage fully with their environments, which will set them up to be more resilient and less likely to develop chronic diseases in the long run.”

Child and youth physical activity levels alarmingly low

Two of the lowest grades in the Report Card this year are a D- for Sedentary Behaviours and a D- for Overall Physical Activity. It finds that child and youth physical activity levels remain alarmingly low, with only nine per cent of 5 to 17-year-olds meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines of 60 minutes per day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity.

 “In order to help ensure Canadian children get enough heart-pumping activity, we need to recognize that they are competent and capable to go out and explore on their own or with friends,” says Elio Antunes, President and CEO, ParticipACTION.

Increase children’s opportunities for self-direction

The report also talks about the difference between “real danger” and “risk” and increasing children’s opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings – at home, at school, in child care, the community and nature.

For tips on how to ease your fears about letting kids play freely outdoors, click here.

More information on 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card

To download the 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card Highlight Report or the 58-page Full Report, please visit www.participactionreportcard.com

Contact your YMCA location today to learn about child and youth programs offered.

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