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The Physical Inactivity Epidemic: Are Canadian Children at Risk?. Claire LeBlanc MD, FRCP, Dip Sport Med . Physical Inactivity Statistics *. 63% of 5-17 y.o. not active enough for optimal growth Adolescents less active than children 2-12 years old (33% vs 43%)

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the physical inactivity epidemic are canadian children at risk

The Physical Inactivity Epidemic: Are Canadian Children at Risk?

Claire LeBlanc

MD, FRCP, Dip Sport Med

physical inactivity statistics
Physical Inactivity Statistics *
  • 63% of 5-17 y.o. not active enough for optimal growth
  • Adolescents less active than children 2-12 years old (33% vs 43%)
  • Decline in activity with age and gender (girls at 14-15 yrs vs boys 16-17 yrs)
  • Girls less active than boys: 30% vs 50% at 5-12 yrs vs 25% vs 40% at 13-17 yrs
  • Girls - less intense physical activities

* Physical Activity Monitor 1999. CFLRI

health implications of physical inactivity
Health Implications of Physical Inactivity
  • WHO definition of health: comprehensive state of physical, psychological, and social well being
    • Childhood obesity
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Hypertension
    • Osteoporosis
    • Depression
    • Smoking/alcohol/drugs
    • Adolescent pregnancy
high blood pressure
High Blood Pressure
  • ~ 3 million USA youths affected
  • Associated with obesity
  • Tracking from adolescence into adulthood established: ~ 50% boys, ~ 40% girls remained HT 8 yrs later *

* Anderson and Haraldsdottir J Int Med 1993;234:309-315

osteoporosis
Osteoporosis
  • 1 in 4 women > 50 y with osteoporosis
  • Annual cost hip fracture treatment $650 million *
  • Bone accretion in first 20 yrs major factor in final bone mass + bone health later yrs

*Wiktorowicz et al. Osteoporos Int 2001;12(4):271-8

canadian youth mental health depression
Canadian Youth Mental Health - Depression
  • 113,000 Canadian 12-17 year olds depressed
  • Suicide 2nd leading cause of injury-related death in adolescence
  • 35% grade 10 students depressed 1 or more times/week in prior 6 months (1998) *

*Trends in Health of Canadian Youth. Health Canada 1999

canadian youth mental health smoking
Canadian Youth Mental Health - Smoking
  • Average age onset smoking  from 16 to 12 years over past 2 decades*
  • 1998grade 10 smokers – 28% boys, 34% girls**
  • Weekly smokers unlikely to quit thus become adult smokers***

*CPS position statement Ped & child health 2001;6(2):89-95

**Trends in Health of Canadian Youth. Health Canada, 1999

***Kelder et al Am J Public Health 1994;84(7):1121-26

canadian youth mental health drugs
Canadian Youth Mental Health – Drugs *
  • 1998 grade 10 students > 90% had tried alcohol
  • 43% grade 10’s “very drunk” > 2 x in 1998
  • 1998 grade 10’s: 42% MJ, 13% LSD, 6% cocaine, 9% amphetamines

* Trends in Health of Canadian Youth. Health Canada 1999

canadian youth mental health delinquency
Canadian Youth Mental Health - Delinquency
  • ~ 20% School drop out rate in 1991
  •  Youth violence 106% vs  45% adults 1986-1991*
  • 75,000 youths/yr charged with crimes in Canadian courts

* Smart et al J Psychoactive Drugs 1997;29(4):369-373

canadian youth pregnancy
Canadian Youth Pregnancy *
  • Teen pregnancy dropped between 1975-1987 but has increased since 1990
  • 2.7% incidence pregnancy 15-17 y.o. in 1990
  • 52% 15-17 year olds continue pregnancy to term

* CPS position statement Canadian J Ped 1994;1(2):58-60

reaffirmed Jan 2000

p a reduces hypertension and osteoporosis
P A reduces Hypertension and Osteoporosis
  • Aerobic exercise reduces systolic and diastolic BP in adolescents with hypertension*
  • High impact exercises during puberty improves bone mineral content**

*Hansen et al. BMJ 1991;303:682-5

**Heinonen et al Osteoporos Int 2000;11:1010-17

physical activity improves mental health
Physical Activity Improves Mental Health
  • Regular PA may increase self esteem
  • Regular PA may decrease anxiety/depression*
  • Some evidence shows teen girls have lower rates of sexual activity and pregnancy when  PA**
  • Some evidenced regular PA associated with  smoking, alcohol and drug abuse

*K.J. Calfas, W.C. Taylor. Ped Exerc Sci 1994. 6:406-423

**Sabo et al. J Adolesc Health 1999;25:207-16

physical activity improves school performance
Physical Activity Improves School Performance*
  • Positive associations with PA and academic performance
  • Some evidence good grades same or better with  regular PA despite reduction in academic class time
  • Regular PA may improve attitudes, discipline and behavior**

*R.J. Shephard. Pediatric Exercise Science 1997. 9:113-126

**Keays and Allison. Can J Public Health 1995;86(1):62-65

why are canadian children inactive
Why are Canadian Children Inactive?
  • TV, computer, Nintendo
  • Inactive parents
  • Inadequate access to quality physical education classes
  • Lack of recreational facilities
recommendations
Recommendations
  • Parents, children, youth, schools, school boards, recreation leaders, medical and allied health personnel, all levels of government need to work together to promote regular PA
    • Limit sedentary behaviors (TV, video/computer games)
    • Parents to lead by example (Family oriented PA)
    • PA outside of gym class curriculum
    • School and community co-operative efforts
    • Policies to ensure safe equipment, facilities and routes to and from school
    • Policies to mandate daily K-12 quality school phys-ed classes by trained specialists
recommendations18
Recommendations
  • Promote and help disseminate Canada’s Physical Activity Guide for Healthy Active Living for Children and Youth