Canadian kids continue to get failing fitness grade
Canada was handed a failing grade when it comes to children and youth engaging in physical activity.
Canada received a D-minus in the 2014 Active Healthy Kids Canada report card.
The grade, which has been the same over the last decade, leaves Canada 12th out of the 15 countries which are rated.
Five of the countries in the report are underdeveloped countries -- such as Mozambique -- which lack venues and programs which promote activity. Yet, they have scored above Canada.
"In the global context, Canada is a developed country ... Canada will never reap the benefits of our well-developed policies, programs and places unless we relax our grasp and give kids room to move. Parents and families, policy makers and schools must work together to make it easier for our kids to make active choices more often," said Jennifer Cowie Bonne, CEO with Active Kids Canada.
Canadian youth should be getting an hour of activity per day, but Kids Canada says 46% get less than three hours a week.
Bonne said part of the blame goes to the rules that bubble-wrap children at school playgrounds.
"No balls or street hockey in the schoolyard are rules that must go ... Kids should be allowed to bump into each other. When kids are more active there is a drop in bullying in the playground," she said.
New Zealand ranked at the top of the list with a B because of its sporting culture and connection with the outdoors.
"We are more relaxed. We encourage kids to run around with no shoes," New Zealand delegate Leila Pfaeffi-Dale said, adding that country's kids are on the go up to 78 minutes a day.