Fitness is a life skill!
From cradle to grave, physical activity is one of the healthiest lifestyle practices that we can undertake. In fact, movement is deemed so important that the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) recommends that children under the age of 17 spend at least 60 minutes a day engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity, and several more hours spent in light to moderate movement.
Unfortunately, children are falling short of meeting their physical needs. Statistics Canada reports that of “school-aged children and youth between the ages of 5 and 17, 13% of boys and 6% of girls were accumulating at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily as recommended in the guidelines.” The numbers become increasingly stark as children age, with research indicating that, while 39% of the 5- to 11-year-old cohort achieved at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily, their older peers failed to even achieve those base standards, with adherence rates dropping down to 18% among 12-17 year olds. (1)
As educators, our school teams have the amazing opportunity to instill a lifelong love of movement and physical play right from the early childhood years. From the age of 5 onward, children will spend over half their waking hours in a classroom, and the values that are instilled in their schools will last with them throughout their lives.
The #Generactive mission is to help equip our teachers and administrations with the tools and resources they need to be successful in ensuring that our children and youth establish physical literacy and fitness as a life skill that they carry on into adulthood.
Understanding the CSEP 24-Hour Guidelines
In 2017, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology released its most updated recommendations regarding the movement needs of youth. Examining all aspects of the body’s need for both activity and rest, the revolutionary 24-Hour Movement Guidelines include not only the recommendations for moderate to vigorous (“Sweat”), but also distinguished the unique nature of inactivity, establishing recommendations for light to moderate activity (“Step”), Passive Resting activity (“Sleep”) and sedentary behaviour (“Sit”).