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    ParticipACTION: Have you Moved at all Today?

    Are your kids tied to their phones, iPads or computers?

    Are you having a hard time getting your children outside to play?

    Now that the weather is starting to warm up, there is no longer an excuse for letting the day pass by just sitting inside!

    As a physiotherapist who sees many children and parents with sore necks and/or thumbs (i.e. De Quervian’s Tenosynovitis), I challenge all of you to put down your mobile devices and get moving for a least 60 minutes each day. And most importantly, bring your children outside with you! Not only can going outside prevent soreness caused by too much screen time, it can also facilitate a release in endorphins (positively changing mood) and help to counteract a sedentary lifestyle.

    Important Facts

    • As of 2012, children and youth averaged close to 8 hours of screen time per day, with only 19% of kids aged 10 to 16 meeting the 2-hour guideline (Council on Health Promotion, 2012).
    • Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children, and quadrupled in adolescents, in the past 30 years.
    • According to the Childhood Obesity Foundation, in 1978, only 15% of children were overweight or obese. By 2007, Statistics Canada found that 29% of adolescents had unhealthy weights.

    These statistics are both shocking and worrisome for parents. Inactive and overweight kids are more likely to have increased risk factors for heart disease, cholesterol, diabetes, joint problems and diminished self-esteem. Furthermore, overweight children are more susceptible to becoming overweight adults.


    ParticipACTION Can Help

    Some of you may remember the ParticipACTION jingle from our days at school. Their website says: “ParticipACTION is the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Canada. Originally established in 1971, ParticipACTION was re-launched in 2007 to help prevent the looming inactivity crisis that faces Canada. As a national not-for-profit organization solely dedicated to inspiring and supporting healthy and active living for Canadians, it works with its partners to inspire and support Canadians to move more.” ParticipACTION has a great website with many ideas to help parents and kids become more active. They also have a free monthly e-newsletter with articles and tips. Check it out: http://www.participaction.com.

    About Marni Pepper

    Marni Pepper is a physiotherapist with over 15 years of experience in orthopedics treating children and adults. She graduated with honours from the University of Toronto’s four year physiotherapy program. For 10 years, Marni worked directly with orthopedic surgeons at the Canadian Knee Institute where they specialized in ACL and meniscal repairs, osteotomies, joint replacements and other post-surgical rehabilitation.