Play Your Way, Every Day!
Hiking on Bruce Peninsula

Know the Facts

Research shows that among children and adolescents, 17% are overweight and another 9% are obese. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that “our children’s lifespan could be 2-5 years less than our own.” Furthermore, the economic burden of physical inactivity is estimated at $5.3 billion and the burden to the healthcare system is estimated at $2.1 billion. Canada is facing an inactivity and obesity crisis whose impact on the cost of future chronic disease management is almost unimaginable. A potential solution is regular physical activity, which is associated with as much as a 30% reduction in all causes of mortality rates. (Research found on

Local Grey-Bruce Statistics


of Grey Bruce residents are overweight or obese (52% for Ontario)


of Grey Bruce residents have high blood pressure (17% for Ontario)


of youth deaths are caused by motor vehicles crashes in Grey-Bruce (33% higher than the province)


of Grey-Bruce residents are inactive, almost half the population

Bruce County has the third highest rate of death from heart disease in Ontario

Statistics from the 2007/08 Canadian Community Health Survey

Results from the School Health Action, Planning and Evaluation System (SHAPES) research show that physical activity levels require immediate attention:

  • 14% of Grey-Bruce secondary students report getting no activity either in school or outside of school
  • At least one in four students spend three or more hours daily in front of a TV, computer screen or on the phone

From the Bluewater Nutrition Project a 2004 study of children’s growth and nutrition in Grey and Bruce Counties found:

  • 18% of children were classified as overweight
  • 11% were classified as obese
  • Overall, boys rates of obesity (15%) were significantly higher than girls (7%)
Canadian Activity Guidelines

Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines released by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and ParticipACTION.

Healthy Kids Report Card

The Healthy Kids Report Card offers the most comprehensive annual assessment of child and youth physical activity in Canada.

Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines

For health benefits, youth aged 12–17 years should minimize the time they spend being sedentary each day. See report for details.

Canadian Statistics

Childhood obesity has tripled over the last three decades

Source: Shilds, M. (2005). Measured Obesity: Overweight Canadian children and adolescents. Statistics Canada, Analytic Studies and Reports. ISSN: 1716-6713

Activity Guidelines

Only 12% of Canadian children and youth are meeting Canada’s physical activity guidelines of 90 minutes per day.1

Canadian Health Measures Survey

According to the Canadian Health Measures Survey 17% of Canadian children and youth are overweight and an additional 9% are obese.4

Life Span

The New England Journal of Medicine reports that, for the first time in history, our children’s lifespan could be 2-5 years less than our own.5

Screen Time

Canadian kids are spending six hours a day in front of television, video game and computer screens – over the course of a week, that is as much time as their parents spend at work.6


Sport participation rates in Canadian youth aged 15-18 declined from 77% in 1992 to 59% in 2005.7


Today’s Canadian children and youth are heavier, fatter, rounder and weaker than they were a generation ago.2

More than half of Canadians are considered inactive.

CFLRI. (2008). Results of the 2008 Physical Activity and Sport Monitor

The benefits of physical activity are undisputed by health professionals. A few of the many positives include:


Fit individuals who are obese have a lower risk of all-cause mortality than do unfit normal-weight or lean individuals. Fit adults outlived the unfit regardless of their obesity levels or weight.13


Canadian adult participation in sport declined from 45% in 1992 to 28% in 2005.8


In those aged 40 to 69 years, the percentage of those whose waist circumference places them at high risk for health problems has more than doubled since 1981; in those aged 20 – 39 years, percentages have more than quadrupled.11

The direct and indirect costs associated with physical inactivity were estimated at $5.3 billion in 2001.

Source: Katzmarzyk, P. T., & Janssen. (2004). The economic costs associated with physical inactivity and obesity in Canada: An update. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 29(1) 90-115

According to the Conference Board of Canada in 2010, we could save $76 billion over the next ten years by tackling the five main risk factors for heart disease: smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure and lack of fruit and vegetable consumption.15