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Canadian Kids are Inactive, and May be Losing Sleep Over It

ParticipACTION releases 2016 Report Card, and for the first time assigns a sleep grade

If you think kids can get a little physical activity and then play video games into the wee hours, yet remain healthy, you’re in for a rude awakening. There are important relationships among sleep, physical activity and sedentary behaviour and new research shows that sedentary lifestyles are connected to a creeping ‘sleepidemic’ in Canadian children and youth.

That is why, for the first time, the 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth assigns a grade to sleep and includes new Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth. A first of their kind in the world, the guidelines outline what a healthy 24-hour period looks like for children and youth.

 For optimal health children and youth need to sweat, step, sleep and sit the right amounts.  Only nine per cent of kids get enough heart-pumping physical activity and only 24 per cent are meeting screen time guidelines of no more than two hours per day.  Plus, in recent decades, children’s nightly sleep duration has decreased by 30 minutes to an hour; 31 per cent of school-aged kids and 26 per cent of adolescents in Canada are sleep-deprived.

The Report Card assigns grades in 12 categories this year, with Sedentary Behaviour receiving the lowest mark:

•    “D-“ for Overall Physical Activity
•    “F” for Sedentary Behaviour
•    “D” for Active Transportation
•    “D+” for Active Play
•    “D+” for Physical Literacy 
•    “C+” for Family and Peers
•    “C+” for School
•    “B” for Organized Sport and Physical Activity Participation
•    “B” for Sleep
•    “B-“ for Government
•    “A-“ for Community and Environment
•    “A-“ for Non-Government

To download the 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card Highlight Report, including the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth, or the full 76-page Report, please visit www.participaction.com/reportcard.