Alberta Cancer Foundation

Get Your Kids Off the Couch


Source: health behaviour in school-aged children

Everyone knows a healthy lifestyle is built on a foundation of balanced diets and exercise. According to Canada’s Physical Activity Guide, released by the Public Health Agency of Canada, daily physical activity for children and youth should be 90 minutes a day. However, the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute found that 89 per cent of children and youth in Alberta in 2007-09 don’t meet this guideline. After school, homework, after-school activities and dinner with the family, where do you find this time?

Keep track of the activities they do during the day. Do they have 30 minutes of gym class each day or 15 minutes of recess? Tally up the results and work on a plan from there. Your child may end up only needing to spend 20 or 30 minutes being active in the evening. Find out activities they’d enjoy, set goals and be supportive.

And remember when it comes to encouraging more activity in your children, “do as I say, not as I do” is not effective. Get out there with them. You don’t have to keep up, but you do have to keep fit.