the young kelownaWellness Report
We wanted to know what life is like for kids in Kelowna. So we found out!
UBC Okanagan researchers worked with Central Okanagan Public Schools, students, and parents to learn how kids in grades 4–9 spend their day. This info helps us understand how our choices impact our well-being.
Each family and every kid will have a different “normal”, and that’s totally ok. Use this info to understand what balance and well-being mean for YOU.
What do well-being and wellness mean?
Wellness is the combination of all the things we do that make us feel good and healthy. Well-being is what happens when our wellness is on point.
Think of well-being like pizza, and wellness is the different ingredients and toppings. Our pizza toppings (wellness) are all the things we do to help our minds and bodies be their best. It includes things like walking to school, what we eat, and even hanging out with friends and chatting online. All these different things work together to make you feel awesome, and that’s called well-being.
The 8 Ingredients of well-being for Kelowna kids
We don’t need to tell you that sleep is important.
When you get a good night’s sleep, you have more energy and it’s easier to focus and do things. If you’re tired, you may be grumpy, have trouble paying attention, forget things, and have more anxiety and stress.
How do you feel when you don’t get enough sleep?
A lot of adults are worried about how much time you spend looking at screens each day. But screens are also an important part of life for kids in Kelowna, including computers, phones, television, and gaming.
Not all screen use is bad, even when you’re using it for more hours than you’re supposed to.
When you’re looking at screens, what are you doing? Are you learning something cool, hanging out with friends, or scrolling TikTok? How do you feel when you’re doing those things?
We sit a lot during the day; at our desks, on our couch, while we’re eating, and when we’re hanging out with friends. Sitting is a totally normal part of our lives.
But how we sit matters. Ideally, we would be taking breaks from sitting and getting up to stretch or move around a bit.
How long do you sit before you take a break?
You’ve probably had someone tell you how important it is to exercises, but any kind of movement works. You could be dancing, taking the dog for a walk, cooking, or longboarding with friends. Even cleaning your room or loading the dishwasher counts as movement.
Our bodies are designed to move. When we do, we reduce our stress levels, sleep better, and increase our self-confidence.
Do you feel better on days when you’ve moved more?
We all know that we aren’t supposed to eat “junk food”, but it can be really hard to eat healthy. A lot of foods are made to be extra tasty so that we keep going back for more, even though we know we shouldn’t. Sometimes we eat even if we aren’t hungry because we’re bored or stressed.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t eat your favourite foods or that you can only eat lettuce. There are lots of really easy ways to give your brain and body the fuel it needs to be awesome.
Do you think about what you’re eating and if you’re even hungry?
Our relationships with other people are one of the most important ingredients in our well-being. When we have good interactions with other people, our physical health is better and our mental health is stronger too. Too little social interaction and we get lonely, depressed, and insecure.
Humans are super social, even those of us who are shy and have a hard time making friends, and every person has different social needs.
Who do you like spending time with? How do you feel when you’re hanging out?
Mental health is a big topic and you’ve probably had a conversation with someone about things like depression and anxiety. High stress levels don’t just impact our mental health, they affect our physical health too.
If you’re feeling stressed, you’re not alone. Stress is very common among kids, especially in Kelowna.
Do you worry a lot or feel like you are under a lot of pressure? When do you feel less stressed and what are you doing in those moments?
There’s a lot going on in your life and we tend to think about other people a lot. We worry about people we carry about, think about what they are thinking about, and compare ourselves to them too. It’s ok to think about yourself though!
Self-awareness means that you think about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how it makes you feel. Then you can make decisions that improve your well-being!
How do you feel right now? What could you do to feel better than you do now?