Sedentary Children


This article from the CBC discusses the sedentary nature of children’s lifestyles inCanada. I expect this is similar to other developed nations. The guidelines presented, however, are completely unrealistic given the current model for primary education that requires children to sit for many hours at a time with only minimal breaks for physical activity. Ironically, if these guidelines were mandated, we would almost certainly see a dramatic decline in the incidence of ‘learning disabilities’.



Canadian children and teens should spend no more than two hours a day sitting — including while watching TV or playing video games — outside of school time, new exercise guidelines say.

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology followed up on the physical activity guidelines it issued in January, issuing sedentary activity guidelines on Tuesday. It says mounting evidence supports the need to limit sedentary behaviour as a health issue distinct from getting people to move more.

Children and youth spend an average of 8.6 hours per day, or 62 per cent of their waking hours, being sedentary, the group noted.

It says that, in an ideal day, the majority of time should be spent engaging in light-intensity activity like helping prepare meals and washing dishes or skipping rope outdoors. The new guidelines say children and teens should spend about 25 per cent of the day seated, with the rest of the day spent pursuing moderate-intensity activities like cycling and vigorous-intensity activities like playing hockey.

Families could limit after school television, sedentary video gaming, texting and screen time and replace it with planned activities like building a snowman.