Regina kids realize the value of outdoor play

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June 9, 2015 - 5:41pm Updated: June 10, 2015 - 10:54am
A track meet for Regina Catholic Schools. Adriana Christianson/CJME.
A track meet for Regina Catholic Schools. Adriana Christianson/CJME.

A report by ParticipAction gave Canadian kids a D-minus on overall physical fitness, but kids at a track meet for Regina Catholic Schools don't need a report to tell them what they already know.

"You're not going to get that healthy playing video games but when you're outside you'll be more healthy," said Grade 4 student Hailey Razz.

Razz says she's not surprised by the results of the report because her brother prefers to spend all his time playing Xbox even though she thinks he should be outside. When summer comes, she has better things to do after school.

"Since we have a park really close by us, I like to play there or I'll go outside and practice softball," Razz said.

The Report on Physical Activity for Children and Youth found that 70 per cent of three to four-year-olds get at least 180 minutes of physical activity. However, only seven per cent of kids aged five to 11, and five per cent of kids ages 12 to 17, get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.

Now dozens of national fitness organizations are teaming up to stress the importance of parents giving kids more freedom to play outside on their own instead of keeping them indoors to protect them.

Brendan Schneider is in Grade 5. He says his parents do let him go outside on his own. He's surprised Canadian kids overall are getting such a bad grade on physical fitness, but he can understand why it is happening.

"Everybody loves to play outside but now that they're making PS4s and Xboxes, they want to do that more," he said.

He admitted a lot of his friends prefer playing video games but he would rather play soccer.

Angela Carnagie is surprised by the report because she has five kids who are all extremely active in the world of sports. However, she agreed that kids need to get outside playing on their own more.

"I think that sounds really good because that's how we grew up, you know? Go outside and play and I just think that's important for kids to even know how to do that," she said.

Carnagie admits she does see a change in cultural values when it comes to letting kids play alone. So what is her message to kids when they get bored at home?

"Just go out and do something! Go for a walk, go jump on the trampoline and move," she said.

Curtis Jerome disagrees with the presumption that Canadian kids aren't active enough. He coaches a lot of sports and says they seem to be more popular than ever.

"Maybe some kids are sitting around the TV than others but even in my neighbourhood, there's kids always running around, playing soccer or lacrosse or something's going on, so I don't see it no," he said.

Jerome says he thinks some parents might baby their kids too much. At the same time, he admitted that some neighbourhoods are safer than others and he can see why parents might not want to let their kids walk alone in some areas.

AChristianson@rawlco.com
Follow on Twitter: @AdrianaC_JME

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