FACTS and FIGURES

[Daily] Physical Activity

What is Physical Activity?

Physical activity is is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure.* 

  • Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide[1]

  • Canadian kids are sitting too much and moving too little to reach their full potential. Only 35% of 5-17 year olds meets the physical activity recommendation of an accumulation of at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity involving a variety of aerobic activities within the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth. Additionally, 51% of 5-17 year olds are engaging in more screen time than is recommended.[2]

 

  • Girls are 19% less physically active than boys. Efforts and strategies aiming to increase physical activity amongst females is essential, especially into adolescence.[3] 

  • Research shows that higher levels of physical activity are associated with favorable measures of physical fitness, more competence, weight status, body mass index, metabolic health, arterial characteristics, bone health, academic achievement, health-related quality of life, brain and mental health etc.[4]

 

  • Present findings demonstrate that healthy lifestyle behaviours are positively and independently associated with academic achievement, justifying investments in school-based health promotion initiatives.[5] 

  • Lower levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and higher levels of sedentary time (ST) and particularly their combination are related to poorer reading (fluency and comprehension) skills especially in boys.[6]

  • Physical activity in adolescence is positively associated with educational outcomes. Both the physical activity level at age 15 yr and an increase in physical activity level between the ages of 12 and 15 yr are positively related to the grade point average at age 15 yr and the years of post-compulsory education in adulthood. [7]

 

  • Science research is showing that students who exercise before a test show stronger brain function than those who don’t! [8] 

  • Children with poor aerobic fitness appear to have more difficulty solving problems, since when the body does not move, the brain cannot perform at its fullest potential. [9] 

  • Active kids are better equipped to be creative, strategizing and solving problems. [10]

 

  • Children who participate in physical activity have more focus and longer attention spans, even amongst children with attention deficit hyperactivity and autism spectrum disorder, compared to their less active peers.[11] 

  • Children who are active experience the “feel-good” brain chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) that help fight against anxious and depressive symptoms.[12]

  • In a study on early primary students physical activity and on-task behaviour, in a 4.6-hours stretch of classroom (excluding 2.1 hours of transitions, lunch and recess), students took an average of 1 406.6 steps. In the classroom setting, students were also engaged in sedentary activity 94.8% of the time and were considered in light activity in 4.3% of the time. [13] 

  • Despite the issuing of the Daily Physical Activity (DPA) policy by the Ontario government in 2005, in a study of DPA implementation, it was evidenced that only a small percentage of administrators reported the presence of DPA monitoring procedure in their schools (28%) and frequent use of DPA supports (9%). The majority of administrators (77%) perceived competing curriculum priorities as a barrier for DPA implementation. Teachers who were able to implement DPA in their classrooms had the following characteristics: perception that DPA is realistic and achievable, high confidence in implementation, and scheduling of DPA in daily routine. [14] 

  • Implementing classroom physical activity breaks can improve student physical activity during school and behavior in the classroom. Comprehensive school physical activity programs that include classroom-based activity are likely needed to meet the 60 min of physical activity required. [15] 

  • typically use active modes of transportation (walking, biking etc.), 63% use inactive modes (car, bus etc.) and 16% use a combination of active and inactive modes of transportation to travel to and from school. [16]

  • Only 36% of 8-12 year olds in Canada assessed by the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL) meet or exceed the minimum level of recommended physical literacy.[17]

  • Only 20% of Canadian children receive daily physical education in school with 41% receiving 1-2 days/week, and 10% receiving no physical education at all. [18]

 

  • Having physical education classes for 18+ minutes a day can increase the odds that an overweight child becomes and stays physically active. [19] 

  • 49.5%  of Canadians ages 12+ are physically inactive. [20] 

  • The gap between boys and girls participating in school sport widens as grade level increases (more boys than girls participate). [21]

  • Physical activity helps children feel better about themselves and also helps them sleep better at night. [22]

 

  • Schools have the potential to reach a large number of students; they are the key to promoting physical activity [23]

  • 40-45% of a child’s waking hours are spent at school—as teachers we are able to provide children with physical activity opportunities. [24]

  • A daily break of 15+ minutes during the school day can impact a child’s learning, social development, and health in elementary school children. [25]

  • Regular physical activity breaks during the school day have been shown to improve cognitive performance and promote on-task classroom behaviour. [26]

  • “Outdoor Time is Associated with Physical Activity, Sedentary Time and Cardiorespiratory. [27]

SOURCES

   *  World Health Organization (WHO)

 

  1. Kohl, H, Craig, CL, Lambert, EV, Inoue, S, Alkandari, JR, Leetongin, G, Kahlmeier, S. “The pandemic of physical inactivity: global action for public health.” Lancet. Vol. 380 Issue 9838 (2012): 294-305.

  2. “ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth” (2018) Online: https://www.participaction.com/sites/default/files/downloads/2018_participaction_report_card_-_highlight_report_0.pdf*** For full report click on the following link:  www.participACTION.com/reportcard.)

  3. Telford, RM, Telford, RD, Olive LS, Cochrane T, Davey R. “Why are girls less physically active than boys? Findings from the LOOK Longitudinal Study.” PLoS One. Vol. 11 Issue 3 (Mar 2016).

  4. “ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth” (2018) Online:https://www.participaction.com/sites/default/files/downloads/the_participaction_report_card_on_physical_activity_for_children_and_youth_-_2018.pdf

  5. Faught, E., Gleddie, D., Storey, K., Davison, C., Veugelers, P. “Healthy lifestyle behaviours are positively and independently associated with academic achievement: An analysis of self-reported data from a nationally representative sample of Canadian early adolescents” PLoS One. Vol.12 Issue 7 (Jul 2017.

  6. Haapala, EA., Vaisto, J., Lintu, N, Westgate K., Ekelund U., Poikkeus AM, Brage S, Lakka, TA. “Physical activity and sedentary time in relation to academic achievement in children.” J Sci Med Sport Vol. 23 Issue 5 (Jun 2017): 583-589.

  7. Kari, JT., Pehkonen, J., Hutri0Kahonen, N., Raitakari, OT, Tammelin, TH. “Longitudinal Associations between Physical Activity and Educational Outcomes.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. Vol. 49 Issue 11 (Nov 2017): 2158-2166.

  8. “ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth” (2018) Online: www.participACTION.com/reportcard)

  9. Kao SC, Drollette ES, Scudder MR, Rainse LB, Westfall DR, Pontifex MB, Hillman CH.“Aerobic fitness is associated with cognitive control strategy in preadolescent children.” J Mod. Behav. Vol. 49 Issue 2 (2017):150-162).

  10. Santos, S, Jimenez S, Sampaio J, Leite N. “Effects of the Skills4Genius sports-based training program in creative behavior.” PLoS One Vol.12 Issue 2 (Feb 2017).

  11. Chambers SA. “Short-burst-high-intensity exercise to improve working memory in preadolescent children diagnosed with attention deficits hyperactivity disorder.” ProQuest Issue (Spring 2016).

  12. Chaddock I, Erickson KI, Prakash RS, Kim JS, Voss MW, Vanpatter er AF. “A neuroimaging investigation of the association between aerobic fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory performance in preadolescent children.” PLoS One. Vol. 10 Issue 8 (2015).

  13. Hermens, N, Super S, Verkiiijen KT, Koelen MA. “A systematic review of life skill development through sports programs erving socially vulnerable youth.” Res Q Exerc Sport Vol.88 Issue 4 (Nov 2017): 408-424.

  14. Thornton, ML. “The relationship between physical activity and on-task behavior in early primary school students.” UK Knowledge-Education Science. (May 2015).

  15. Kenneth, AR, Philipneri, AN, Vu-Nguyen K. “School and classroom effects on Daily Physical Activity (DPA) policy implementation fidelity in Ontario classrooms: a multi-level analysis.” BMC Public Health. Vol. 18 Issue 802 (June 2018).

  16. Carlson j, Engelberg J, Cain K, Conway T, Mignano A, Bonilla E, Geremia C, Sallis J. “Implementing classroom physical activity breaks: Associations with student physical activity and classroom behavior.” Preventive Medicine. Vol 81 (Dec 2015): 67-72.)

  17. typically use active modes of transportation (walking, biking etc.), 63% use inactive modes (car, bus etc.) and 16% use a combination of active and inactive modes of transportation to travel to and from school.

  18. Only 36% of 8-12 year olds in Canada assessed by the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL) meet or exceed the minimum level of recommended physical literacy.

  19. (Retrieved June 2012) (http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.3581729/k.359A/Statistics.htm)

  20. (Retrieved June 2012) (http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.3581729/k.359A/Statistics.htm)

  21. (Retrieved June 2012) (http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c.pvI3IeNWJwE/b.3581729/k.359A/Statistics.htm)

  22. (Retrieved June 2012) http://www.saskatchewaninmotion.ca/facts-stats/school)

  23. (Published May 2012) (http://www.health.am/ab/more/physical-education-is-good)

  24. (Published Fall 2011) (Elliott, S., Combs, S., & Boyce, R. (2011). Recess Physical Activity Packs in Elementary Schools: A Qualitative Investigation. Physical Educator, 68(3), 150-162.)

  25. Elliott, S., Combs, S., & Boyce, R. (2011). Recess Physical Activity Packs in Elementary Schools: A Qualitative Investigation. Physical Educator, 68(3), 150-162.)

  26. (Published January 2009) (http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/01/27/daily.school.recess.improves.classroom.behavior)

  27. Trost, G. (2007). Physical Education, Physical Activity and Academic Performance. Active Living Research.)

  28. http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.redeemer.idm.oclc.org/eds/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=f402afe6-09fc-445f-8c38-5f9c54c2943a%40sessionmgr4009&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#AN=29945575&db=mnh https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27502505

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