19
Dec
12

What is up with Canada?

I was referred to a report printed by the CBC that gave me quite a start. I always thought that our Canadian neighbors were a healthier and more peaceful version of us. When I saw this I realized that the Canadians are missing the boat a little. Apparently the rate of the “out of shape”Cannuck  has sky-rocketed. (Thank goodness we exported McDonald’s in time). The national standards for fitness in Canada have been lowered from 90 minutes of activity a day for children to 60 minutes a day (the same as America).

The intention is to make the goal of fitness more attainable and thus motivate Canadian couch sitters to get up and get active. Now I agree with this but also disagree. I believe that at an entry-level we need to encourage getting active even for 10 minutes a day. We need kids to start moving so they can feel better and eventually they will increase activity time on their own simply because it’s enjoyable. By lowering the standard we are telling the active kids to slow down and we, in effect, lower the bar. I thought this was an American concept, but I guess not.

Canada’s new physical activity guidelines fall closer in line with standards of the World Health Organization, the U.S. and the U.K.  “It takes less and less of a stimulus to the body to produce a physiologic response,” says Mark Tremblay, who runs the exercise lab at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa “Just 10 minutes of physical activity will offer health benefits for someone who is completely sedentary.” I concur with Tremblay , and it is a great start to being active but it does not mean that the overall standard should be lowered. It means 10 minutes should be encouraged to START sedentary children moving and get them on the path where they can be converted to being active for 90 minutes.

See the chart below, I guess Canadians are more like Americans than I thought.

American and Canadian children are similar in measurement

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