A recent survey finds kids today spend more time on their electronic devices and less time actively playing. The Canadian Health Measures Survey found only seven per cent of 5-11 year olds meet the Canadian Physical Activity guidelines of one hour of activity a day. In response to this alarming statistic, from November 3 – 28, 2014 doctors across BC are partnering with their local schools and challenging kids to be active for at least one hour of every day and to make healthy choices. Now in its third year, over 4,600 students from 38 schools in 22 communities are taking up the challenge, including in towns such as Kimberly, Kelowna, Victoria, and Vancouver. All of Cranbrook’s seven elementary schools are involved with over 1,350 students ready to move.
Through a series of videos shown each week of the challenge, Be Active Every Day ambassadors and Canadian National Soccer Team players, Emily Zurrer and Brittany Baxter, will motivate the kids by teaching them new soccer tricks and training them to become Soccer Stars. The kids will also keep track of their daily activities in their How to Be a Soccer Star booklet.
With BC doctors in the classroom, children will learn the importance of daily activity from a medical perspective and will understand the easy steps 5-2-1-0 (5 fruits and veggies, 2 hours of screen time, 1 hour of activity, and 0 sugar-sweetened beverages every day). By the end of the month we hope children will turn their healthy choices into healthy habits – ones that will last well into adulthood.
When asked about the Be Active Every Day challenge, Dr Ron Wilson commented, “Overall it is a privilege to encourage these young children to be active every day and to provide the fundamentals of a lifelong habit.” The responses he received from students on Denman and Hornby Island have been positive, and as one girl tells him she still has her certificate from last year.
To find out which schools are taking the Be Active Every Day challenge and for useful resources to get kids moving, please visit doctorsofbc.ca/active.