Top Ten Ways for Parents to get their Kids More Active


Interesting Statistics

  • 80% of the reasons children are overweight can be attributed to poor choices made by the parents. (Yale University of Public Health)
  • 20% of children under five years of age are now overweight.
  • Over 60% of Canadian girls and 50% of Canadian boys under 17 are not active enough for proper growth and development.
  • Since 1981 obesity has tripled among Canadian children; now 30% are considered obese.
  • A poll in 2002 showed 80% of Canadians believe children watch too much TV and work on the computer.
  • 14% of people said finances are a barrier to getting their children active.
  • According to the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, children who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily are less likely to be overweight than children who eat less than three servings.
  • As a result of obesity, it is the first time in history our children have a shorter life span than their parents.
  • Obese people have a 50-100% increased risk of death from all causes.
  • Life expectancy is five to seven years less for obese people than normal weight people.
  • $35 billion per year is spent on weight loss products that don’t work.
  • 62% of children aged nine to 13 do not engage in any organized physical activity during their non-school hours.
  • The chance for a 13-year-old obese child to be obese in adulthood is 80%.
  • Physical inactivity and poor diet account for at least 300,000+ deaths in North America each year.
  • According to Nielson Co. the average American watches four or more hours of TV each day. In a 65 year life span this adds up to nine years of TV-watching.

10. Sign up for summer sports camps.

  • Sports burn lots of calories
  • Sports are fun, kids do them long periods of time
  • Sports develop their bodies for adulthood

9. Schedule daily evening family walks.

  • Develops a habit that they can carry on into the future
  • Develops family time and cohesiveness

8. Give them active jobs, paper route, snow shoveling, grass cutting, chores.

  • A chance to earn spending money, motivation to work

7. Don’t let kids walk all over you. You are the boss.

  • Don’t drive kids to school that is two blocks away
  • Say no to lazing around the house.

6. Do the walk and groom program at your local humane society.

  • Get exercise and develop compassion and volunteer skills
  • Kids love animals

5. Build a backyard obstacle course.

  • Be creative, develop cooperation with your children
  • Use anything available (saw horse, hoola hoops, tires, ropes, balls, etc

4. Set limits on TV time, computer usage, video games and cell phones.

  • Do not allow television or computer in their rooms; only in open areas
  • Only allow cell phones for emergency use
  • Keep video games to only a couple hours per week.

3. Be a positive role model.

  • Kids will follow the foot steps of the parent
  • If you make exercise part of your life the greater chance your child will

2. Plan physically active holidays like camping.

  • Develop outdoor skills while burning calories
  • So much to do (hike, rock climb, bike, kayak)

1. Go play with them.

  • Just spend time with your children — play catch
  • Let the kids pick a physical activity for the family to engage in
  • Give them a chance to be involved and lead the family to better health