Canadian kids least active, says ParticipAction report
The new PartcipAction study, released a report on Wednesday, showcasing the dismal record of Canada when compared to other 37 countries.
Along with its neighbour, United States, Canada was at the lower ranks with, Australia, England, Spain to support her in line with developed nations with inactive kids.
Experts say too much of screen time, not enough free unstructured play time resulted in most kids with least activity levels.
While kids spend the most active part in their schools, experts believe schools need to come up with more activity hours to make kids real active.
“We are very different than most schools in Ontario. We have dedicated play time apart from studies,” says Guru Tegh Bahadur International School Principal, Sanjeev Dhawan.
GTB students in action.
He says, “Our students get engaged to several activities apart from daily coursework that is inculcated inside the school hours.”
“Be it going on a field trip, or playing basketball in the outdoor vicinity, arranging soccer sessions or just running around the play parks, students in our school are always in motion, exercising their bodies or minds,” explains Dhawan.
Along with studies, physical activity Dhawan believes cultural balance also adds to the active spirit of the students.
“We have a compulsory Dance classes in our school. Most children take up the Bhangra dance in our studio. The dance master makes sure they are all geared up properly so that they have a complete development,” adds Dhawan.
In comparison to Canada, a developed nation, less developed countries like Brazil, India, Nigeria, Kenya scored much better in the ParticipAction report.
Experts point out the social and cultural connection in these countries probably added to the better ranking of the children’s activity levels.
Principal Dhawan explains, “We are a multi-cultural school and so we celebrate all social events, instead of declaring them as holidays and rest days for the kids.”
“Celebrating events help children to exercise their mind and body in the planning and executing them with finesse, which I believe gives us and our children here some extra marks in testing their activity levels,” points out Dhawan.
Experts also believe that the weather in Canada could play foul with the kids activity levels too, as very few children will really take time out to participate in outdoor sports or remain active.
Dhawan informs, “Our indoor play areas and studios are perfect for our children to practice. Whatever weather it is if it’s a school day our children are up and running with our scheduled activities.”
He adds, “Last year during the troubled winter months we took our children to the Ripley’s Aquarium to let them enjoy the underwater world. We also went to Ottawa to tour the Parliament.”
“Yes, when it snows, the outdoor quotient drops a bit but playing on the snow is also fun! And we never de-motivate our children as long as they are well dressed and covered to brace the weather,” smirks Dhawan.
(Reporting by Debarati Mukherjee)
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