Entitled Are We Driving Our Kids to Unhealthy Habits?, the report card focuses on the potential of increasing active transportation among children and youth.
Active transportation – walking, biking, in-line skating and skateboarding to get to and from places such as school, parks and shops – has long been known to be an important source of physical activity for children and youth. If children walked for all trips of less than one kilometre rather than being driven, they would take an average of 2,238 additional steps per day! This translates to approximately15-20 minutes of walking and thus has the potential to make a substantial contribution to the 60 minutes of daily physical activity kids need for overall health. Imagine the potential impact this small change could have on increasing overall physical activity levels in Canadian kids!
In addition to improving overall physical health, active transportation may:
• Improve fitness and heart health
• Increase academic achievement
• Provide social opportunities
• Reduce stress
• Improve air quality and reduce risk of lung diseases (e.g., asthma)
In past years, the Report Card has proven useful as an advocacy tool serving as the basis for media coverage, public debate, policy discussion and change, research proposals, academic publications, local and international research conferences, communications campaigns, funding decisions and general discourse. The 2013 Report Card is a source for knowledge, insight and understanding that influences thinking and action among issue stakeholders.