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Physical Activity for Children and Youth this Winter

December 14, 2020

3 min read
physical activities

As we collectively support public health measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, an unintended consequence has been that our physical activity levels have suffered significant and sustained declines, which can have detrimental effects on our physical and mental health.

A finding from ParticipACTION research shows that this effect has been especially pronounced on kids.

  • only 4.8% of children (ages 5-11) and 0.8% of youth (ages 12-17) were meeting 24-hour movement behaviour guidelines during COVID-19 restrictions, compared to the 15% (5-17 years) prior to the pandemic.
  • 62% of kids and teens were being less physically active outdoors.
  • 79% of kids and teens were spending more leisure time on screens.

Children are experiencing lower physical activity levels, less outside time, and higher sedentary behaviour, including screen time, during the outbreak. Kids need to move more, now more than ever. 

What can we do as families to positively support healthy movement behaviours in our kids and keep everyone physical?

  • Facilitate physical activity by encouraging, watching, role modeling, co-participating, and attending physical activity events, online or in-person if possible.
  • Be active as a family and make it a priority – this encourages physical activity, social support, connectedness, and attachment, which are all important for good mental health.

We know extracurricular activities are a great way to bring balance to your child’s academic life and teach them many important skills during their formative years. 

Extracurricular activities are proven to provide a lot of benefits to children. They get an opportunity to explore new interests, exercise, improved social skills – even online, better achievement with challenging subjects, and time management techniques.

Classes in BC to help keep your family moving

Here are a couple of organizations that are mindfully continuing their in-person courses taking into account physical distancing requirements. Precautions have been put in place to ensure the safety of children participating in classes. The classes are now smaller so children can physically distance themselves, enrollment is more flexible, and cleanliness is a top priority. Some classes are also available online. 

Winter Sessions at Arts Umbrella
Vancouver, Surrey
Vancouver: 604-681-5268 / Surrey: 604-535-1127
Ages 3–19
New year, new art: Arts Umbrella’s Winter Session classes begin in January 2021, with safe in-person and remote options for kids and teens. Surrey and Granville Island host classes on Acting, Animation, Dance, Drawing & Painting, Musical Theatre, and much more. Browse our Program Guides and register online today.

North Shore Snowboard Team
604 698 8275
Ages 8+
North Shore Snowboard Team offers numerous snowboard programs for kids ages eight and up who are already snowboarding at an intermediate to advanced level. Our programs help push their current riding ability to a higher level in a safe, progressive manner. 

Carlie Parkinson


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