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What's the best way to get kids more active?

Categories: Health

Children get less physical activity than their parents think they do, and aren't getting enough exercise or sleep overall, a new study suggests.

 Children aged four and under should spend more time moving and less time sitting, according to physical activity guidelines. (iStock)Researchers with Statistics Canada tracked the movements of 878 children aged six to 11 using small accelerometers.

On average, parents reported that their children engaged in nearly 105 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity such as running each day, but in fact, they were only participating in 63 minutes daily.

Parents were also off when it came to how long their children were spending in front of TV and video-game screens. On average, they thought their kids had about 2.5 hours of screen time. The study found that the children were sedentary for more than seven hours a day, although screen time was just a portion of that.

Guidelines endorsed by ParticipAction and medical societies say that kids should have at least 60 minutes of "energetic play," such as hopping, skipping or riding a bike with a helmet. But fewer than 10 per cent of children and youth meet that guideline, a previous Statistics Canada study found.

What's the best way to get kids more active? Let us know in the comments below.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: Health

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