Kids need to move more – their brains will thank them!

Posted Tuesday July 10, 2018

Posted By: Christine Taylor

Category: General

ParticipACTION has released the 2018 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. This annual publication provides a snapshot of the status of physical activity for Canadian children.   

Why is physical activity important? 

Physical activity is key to children’s physical health. A healthy heart, strong bones and muscles are well-known benefits of physical activity. Research is now showing the important role physical activity also plays in brain health.  The science is in; physical activity builds healthier brains!  Yet, few children get the recommended amount of physical activity needed each day to see benefits.

Research brought to light by this year’s Report Card

The Report Card provides details about how physical activity significantly impacts children’s brain health. Did you know that:

  • the parts of the brain responsible for memory and learning are bigger in children who are more active;
  • active kids are more focused, have longer attention spans and are better equipped to be creative and problem solve;
  • children who are active experience fewer depression-related symptoms and less feelings of anxiety;
  • active kids experience less stress and when they do experience stress, they recover more quickly. 

Call to Action: Get children moving for better brain health!

Getting kids moving more takes action across all sectors. Here are some ways that different sectors can help children build both their physical and brain health through physical activity:

  • Parents: Encourage your children to get age-appropriate outdoor play
  • Educators: Provide regular, daily opportunities for active play and break-up long periods of sitting with movement breaks.
  • Healthcare professionals: Talk to parents, children and youth about the importance of physical activity, including the link to brain health.  
  • Government: Educate about the benefits of physical activity and advocate for policies that will increase physical activity opportunities for children.

To read more about the results of the 2018 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, visit:  ParticipACTION’s website.    

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