How much physical activity do you do each day?
How does it feel when you’ve had an active day?
We all know that it’s important to get enough exercise, but physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean running, playing sports, or “working out”. Physical activity is just another word for movement, even when we track it as the number of steps you take.
Getting enough exercise can look like going for a walk, cleaning your room, mowing the lawn, biking to school, and even playing with your pets or siblings. If you’re moving, you’re doing physical activity!
Kids aged 5-17 years should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. 1 in 3 Canadian children achieve the 60 minutes/day recommendation, which is about 12,000 steps per day.
How physically active are Kelowna kids?
Elementary school students in Kelowna are active during the week — 83% reach 12,000 steps per day. But on the weekends, the number of kids reaching the target activity level drops to 45%.
Heading into middle school, the number of active students drops about 30-35%. Only 15% of middle schoolers make the 12,000 steps per day goal during the school week and only 12% do so on the weekend.
Physical activity is gendered
More boys than girls reach the 12,000 steps/day goal in elementary school. Boys average 16,173 steps per day during the week and 13,771 steps per day on weekends.
Girls in elementary school average 13,692 steps/day during the week and 10,738 steps/day at the weekend.
Boys are more active than girls in middle school too. Boys average a daily step count of 10,173 during the week and 8,845 steps/day at the weekend.
Middle school girls, average a daily step count of 9,489/day during the school week and 7,784 steps/day on weekends.
What does all this mean?
As kids get older, they tend to engage in less physical activity. There can be a lot of different reasons for this, and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you should try to be aware of it.
If you notice that you’re not doing some of the activities that you used to do last year, think about what has changed and why. Sometimes we get self-conscious about doing things that we used to do, whether that’s a sport or playing games with our friends. That’s normal, but you should try to replace those activities with new things that you enjoy doing.