The number one cause of death in Canada is lifestyle related (i.e. cancer & heart disease)… Not age related! Considered another way, people are expiring well BEFORE their time! In a country where medical care is free, that means we are paying billions of dollars in healthcare for people who choose to have a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle.
Additionally, while our healthcare system is under the strain of poor lifestyle habits of Canadians it also must contend with our aging baby boomers.
And finally, our healthcare system is extended further by the poor health of adolescents. For example, Type II Diabetes, once only seen in adults and influenced largely by exercise and nutrition is now seen in youths.
In fact in a recent comprehensive study, the fitness of Canadians between the ages of 6 and 19 years were assessed and it was determined that compared to results more than 20 years earlier, the fitness of youths have significantly reduced. This decline can result in accelerated chronic disease development, higher health care costs and loss of future productivity (Tremblay et al., 2009).
CANADA WE ARE IN TROUBLE!
When it comes to healthcare in Canada, it’s time to become proactive instead of symptomatic in our approach. We should not be focusing on getting more beds in the hospitals. We should be focusing on getting less Canadians NEEDING hospital beds! And certainly sport IS the way to a proactive approach.
For the first time in history we are looking at a generation of youths who many will not outlive their parents. Sport is in an integral role in breaking this cycle. Research shows us that youths who are physically active and involved in sports throughout high school are less likely to adopt a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle. Additionally, they are less likely to smoke, less likely to do drugs and less likely to eat poorly.
HELLO!!!!!!! Is anyone listening???
Why in the world are we not trying to promote more people to be involved in sports? Oh, and in case you missed yesterday’s blog being involved in sports also boosts grades. In fact, it has been shown that it does not take away from learning, but rather adds.
Any barriers involved in participating in sports needs to be and should be removed. Perhaps, the governement should even consider providing tax credit incentives for Canadians of all ages who engage in phsyical activity (verifiable of course). Let’s encourage Canadians to be proactive in their health - curing our healthcare crisis in the process. Sports is definetly a means to this end!
Guest, A & Schneider B., 2003. Adolescents' extracurricular participation in context: The mediating effects of schools, communities, and identity. Sociology of Education. 76, 89-109.
Halstead, J. A., 1990. The Importance and Value of Sports. Ministry of Tourism and Recreation - Province of Ontario, Canada
Katz, N., 2001. Sports teams as a model for workplace teams: Lessons and liabilities. Academy of Management Executive. 15, 56-67.
The Value of Sport and Recreation. Governement of Western Australia - Department of Sport and Recreation.
Tremblay, M. S., Shields, M., Laviolette, M., Craig, C. L., Janssen, I., & Connor Gorber, S. 2009. Fitness of Canadian children and youth: Results from the 2007-2009 Canadian
Health Measures Survey. Health Reports. 21, Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 82-003-XPE.