Saturday, April 12, 2014

What's Stopping Us From Being Healthier And More Physically Active

Last week some of you may have read my post, aptly named "I'm Selfie-ing In The Rain.:

I began to touch on ParticipACTION's recent campaign #unplugandplay. It was focused on the fact that the average child currently spends 7.5-8 hours.. yes, EIGHT HOURS EACH AND EVERY DAY IN FRONT OF SCREEN. Whether it be a TV, video game system, handheld device, etc... that is still eight hours each day. That must be virtually every minute of the day that they are not awake. And since that is an average, statistically speaking, that means there are MANY, and I MEAN MANY, kids that are probably getting 10+ hours each day...

Let's just take a minute and think about that...

I mean, my god. That is absolutely frightening.

The questions are: 

  • Why do children watch so much television (or related screen devices)?
  • What are the consequences?
  • What can we do about it?

First, I certainly don't have all the answers, but I have some thoughts, and that's a start

At lot has to do with social determinants, which largely translates into how much money parents make, how much education they have (which largely determines income), and employment (which is largely determined by education). Clearly we need to reach the parents, and educate them.

Just a few boring, but very real, and VERY scary statistics...


The Public Health Agency of Canada (2012)

  • There are only 47% of those in the lowest income bracket that are considered to have excellent health
  • While, 73% have excellent health when in the highest income brackets

  • The wealthiest 20% of the population outlive the least wealthiest by an average of four years


Public Health Agency of Canada (2012)

  • Low levels of education are associated with:
              • increased smoking
              • being less physically active
              • making less wise choices of food (unhealthy)

University graduates make  $1.3 million more than high school graduates


  • Income is related to a sense of identity and provides a considerable amount of security
  • Unemployment leads to:
              • stress, social deprivation, depression
              • unhealthy coping behavior
                • smoking
                • drinking
                • drugs

Now that we understand the situation a bit better, next entry will cover the actual benefits, AND THERE ARE A GAJILLION! YES, A GAJILLION, benefits of being physically active

Next article - "#unplugandplay - The Benefits Of Being More Physically Active"