Back in the olden days (the 1980s), me and my friends would race home from school, dump our schoolbags in our rooms, shove some leftovers down our gullets and run back outside to play road hockey (or baseball, football, etc) until…
- it became too dark to see
- or our Moms dragged us back inside for dinner & homework
Fast forward to 2012…
- 46% of Canadian kids get 3 hours or less of active play per week
- Only 35% of Canadian kids walk or ride their bikes to school
- The average Canadian kid gets 7 hours and 48 minutes of screen time every day
- As a result, Canadian kids spend 63% of their free time being sedentary
- And they’re even less active on weekends than on school days
And according to Active Healthy Kids Canada, “two of the major barriers to regular, active play in Canadian kids are screen time and parental safety concerns. In combination, these societal realities force children and youth into highly-controlled environments, where they have little opportunity to let loose and just play“.
Play…like we all did back in the good old days…before the world became a scary place and we needed to start bubble-wrapping our kids to keep them safe.
Fifty-eight per cent of Canadian parents say they are very concerned about keeping their children safe and feel they “have to be over-protective of them in this world.” Safety concerns, whether or not they are founded, such as crime, traffic, neighbourhood danger, outdoor darkness and lack of supervision, discourage parents from letting their children and teens play outdoors.
And as a result, our precious little bundles of joy are fat and borderline diabetic.
Note – While this data is Canadian, I’m willing to bet that it isn’t unique to Canada.