Unpacking the ParticipACTION 2016 Report Card

So ParticipACTION released their 2016 Report Card recently.  And let’s just say it’s not one to put up on the fridge.  To tell the truth, as Canadians, we’re lucky to even get a passing grade.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.  So, so sorry (as a Canadian, I’m obligated to apologize).

Because it doesn’t get much worse than a D-, the overall grade for physical activity assessment among children and youth in Canada.

I know that a grade that bad can feel like an attack, and it’s easy to get defensive – as someone who works in grassroots sport you better believe I did.  But once you unpack this 2016 Report Card, it’s all but impossible to argue.  Some of the highlights are downright embarrassing.

Stats like 9% meet the daily activity guidelines, or 75% get over 2-hours of daily screen time, or just 44% are considered physically literate are pretty cringe-worthy.  In fact the report was so troubling, ParticipACTION felt the need to develop the world’s first 24-Hour Movement Guidelines – you can learn more about that here.

And let me just say that it’s not like we can shrug this off as “just some report” either.  The ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Acitvity for Children and Youth is the single best assessment of physical activity in Canada – by a long shot.  Using a wide range of sources (including the best peer-reviewed research available), this annual report is the Canadian authority on physical activity trends among our youth.

Despite the struggles of Canada’s kids to get off the couch and get moving, there are actually some positive takeaways.  The Report Card gives good-if-not-great grades to areas of support such as government funding and priorities (B-), schools (B), community facilities (A-), and non-government investment (A-) in their efforts to promote and instill healthy lifestyle behaviours in young Canadians.

The keeners out there can check out the full ParticipACTION 2016 Report Card for more details. ParticipACTION is a national non-profit organization who helps Canadians sit less and move more. Established in 1971, ParticipACTION works with its partners to make physical activity a vital part of everyday life.

What do you think of the ParticipACTION’s 2016 Report Card?  Is the assessment reflective of your experiences with youth and physical activity?  Let us know in the comments below!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANick Boon is the Coordinator of Youth Development for Canada Basketball. Nick holds degrees in Physical Education & Health and Sport Business Management, and is a long-time and overly-obsessed basketball coach, player, and fan.

Photo: FreeImages.com / Derek Jones

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