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If You Want Your Kids to Be Active, Get them Outside and Playing!

December 10, 2012 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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We’re in a day and age where we’re inundated by technological influences. As Canadians, the majority of us are sedentary for 7-10 hours per day and also have trouble meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. Our children and youth are also suffering from a severe lack of physical activity. Lack of physical activity and increased sedentary behaviour are significant contributors to childhood obesity in addition to diets rich in sweetened beverages and high calorie foods.

So, if one of your strategies in helping your kids to get up and off the couch and be more physically active is through purchasing active video games, please consider Active Healthy Kids Canada’s position: Active Healthy Kids Canada does not recommend active video games as a strategy to help kids be more physically active.

  • Playing active video games doesn’t lead to increased overall daily physical activity levels.
  • Active video games may get heart rates up, but they're not significantly helping kids get to the 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity required each day.
  • Kids find active video games appealing, but the appeal wears off over time and many don’t stick with them.
  • Active video games don’t offer the fresh air, vitamin D, connection with nature and social interactions that come with outdoor active play.

I hope that this makes sense to you. If wanting to make your children happier, healthier, stronger, and more confident, I urge all parents to BRING BACK PLAY!

Keep Positive, keep smiling, and KEEP MOVING!


References & Resources:
Active Healthy Kids Canada position on active video games
For a video presentation of the position on active video games click here
HealthyFamilies BC: Bring Back Play
The Physical Activity Line

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