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viaSport  – viaSport supports findings in the 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card

Vancouver, B.C. –  viaSport British Columbia supports findings in the 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card. Released today, the ParticipACTION Report Card highlights  the important relationship between sleep, physical activity and sedentary behaviour and shows how sedentary lifestyles are connected to a creeping ‘sleepidemic’ in Canadian children and youth.  That is why, for the first time, the 2016 ParticpACTION Report Card assigns a grade to sleep and includes new Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth. A first of their kind in the world, the guidelines outline what a healthy 24-hour period looks like for children and youth.  

“Sleep deprivation is becoming a problem for Canadian children and youth, creating an insidious threat to their mental and physical health,” says Dr. Mark Tremblay, Chief Scientific Officer, ParticipACTION Report Card and Director of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute’s Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (CHEO-HALO).  “It’s time to take a whole day approach – many kids are too tired to get enough physical activity during the day, and not active enough to be tired at night – it’s a vicious cycle.” 

According to the Report Card, for optimal health children and youth need to sweat, step sleep and sit the right amounts. Only nine per cent of kids get enough heart-pumping physical activity and only 24 per cent are meeting screen time guidelines of no more than two hours per day. Plus, in recent decades, children’s nightly sleep duration has decreased by 30 minutes to an hour; 31 per cent of school-aged kids are 26 per cent of adolescents in Canada are sleep-deprived.

In addition to impacting children’s physical activity levels, sleep deprivation has many other health implications. For example, too little sleep can cause hyperactivity, lower IQ scores and produce adverse hormonal changes like those associated with increased risks of obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
“It is critical that as a province and country we understand the connection between physical activity and quality of life, including what may motivate or deter children to enjoy activity” says viaSport CEO Sheila Bouman. “This study, commissioned by ParticipACTION, tells us that sleep and participation in physical activity are directly correlated—it is a call to action. If we want our children to grow up leading healthy, happy lives, we must provide them with the access, the ability and the confidence to be physically active every day.”
The good news is that regular physical activity may be the best sleep aid there is. The Report Card indicates that Grade 5 students with higher physical activity levels are less likely to be sleepy during the daytime and high school students who get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day are 41 per cent more likely to get sufficient sleep than those who don’t.

“Our tendency may be to cram more into each day to wear kids out, but a full schedule of activities doesn’t necessarily equal more physical activity,” says Elio Antunes, President and CEO, ParticipACTION. “It’s time for a wake-up call.  If we want to improve sleep in our kids, we need to get them off the couch and away from their screens with regular, heart-pumping activity.”
The Report Card assigns grades in 12 categories this year, with Sedentary Behaviour receiving the lowest mark:

  • “D-“ for Overall Physical Activity
  • “F” for Sedentary Behaviour
  • “D” for Active Transportation
  • “D+” for Active Play
  • “D+” for Physical Literacy
  • “C+” for Family and Peers
  • “C+” for School
  • “B” for Organized Sport and Physical Activity Participation
  • “B” for Sleep
  • “B-“ for Government
  • “A-“ for Community and Environment
  • “A-“ for Non-Government

To download the 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card Highlight Report, including the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth, or the full 76-page Report, please visit
The Canadian 24 Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth call for at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, no more than two hours a day of recreational screen time, limited sitting for extended periods and at least 9-11 hours of sleep per night for children 5-13 years, and 8-10 hours for those aged 14-17 years.  They were developed by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, the Conference Board of Canada, HALO-CHEO, ParticipACTION and the Public Health Agency of Canada, with input from research experts and stakeholders across Canada and around the world.


About viaSport British Columbia:
viaSport British Columbia is a not-for-profit organization created by the Provincial Government in 2011 as a legacy of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Our mandate is to increase awareness, opportunity and participation in sport across the province – at every stage of life and in every community. By leading the province’s sport sector in building a stronger, more effective system, we will bring more families to the field of play, more fans into the stands, more athletes to the podium, and more sports events to the province. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Michelle Tice
Director, Communications & Engagement, viaSport