Today Statistics Canada released its annual Canadian Community Health Survey and the results were very disappointing. Canadians are not only more obese than they were in 2008, but they are also getting injured more frequently when doing physical activity. Canadians are also risking more injury by not wearing a helmet when participating in sports such as cycling. According to the survey 46% of Canadians who cycle do not wear a helmet, even in provinces where there is helmet legislation, Ontario being the worse culprit, falling below the national average at 34% even though it is a province with helmet laws.
About 18% of Canadians aged 18 or older, or roughly 4.4 million people, were classified as obese in 2009, up from 15% in 2003. Despite government and nonprofit programs trying to alleviate this problem, it still persists and is growing worse.
Also this week the Canadian Institute of Wellbeing released two new reports on the well being of Canadians which found that time spent on leisure activities dropped from 15% in 1998 to 12% in 2005 and the proportion of Canadians experiencing high levels of time crunch grew from 16% in
1992 to 20% in 2005.
So how can these statistics improve so Canadians become more physically active and take better care of themselves, when they have less time to do it. The Honourable Roy J. Romanow, Chair of the Canadian Institute of Wellbeing Advisory Board states that "We need family-friendly policies for all workers and more community resources and supports for seniors. We need governments and public policies that support leisure and culture activities and venues - ensuring that equity and inclusion are overarching principles in our approach."
To read more about how you can maintain a balanced lifestyle and encourage employers to create more opportunities for physical activity and leisure see the articles below:
Bodies at Work: Everyone wins when employers provide health and fitness opportunities in the workplace.
The Work-Leisure Paradigm: The Stresses and Strains of Maintaining a Balanced Lifestyle. Lobo, Francis, World Leisure Journal 2006, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p22
Participation in recreational physical activity: why do socioeconomic groups differ? Burton, N.W.; Turrell, G.; Oldenburg, B., Health Education & Behavior Apr 2003: Vol. 30 Issue 2. p. 225-244
Over-scheduling your child and your family. Taylor, J., Ski Racing 6 Dec 2002: Vol. 35 Issue 6. p. 26