If anyone knows about staying active, it’s professional athletes. That is why Obesity Matters has joined forces with the Toronto Raptors’ minor-league basketball team, Raptors 905, to bring you the Exercise Kindness program!
As part of the program, we have created a 15-minute, interactive workout session video featuring three players from the team and the strength and conditioning coach. The video is designed for students to stay active and exercise kindness with themselves, their friends and their communities, either in class or at home.
With everyone stuck at home, it is more important than ever to get moving and stay active.
A recent study showed that only 4.8% of children (ages 5-11) and 0.8% of youth (ages 12-17) were meeting 24-hour movement guidelines during COVID-19 shutdown restrictions, compared to the 15% (5-17 years) prior to the pandemic.
Canada was already in the midst of an overweight and obesity epidemic before COVID-19 took hold of the country, and childhood obesity is a big part of matter.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, as of 2017, 30% of children aged 5-17 are living with weight issues, including obesity and since 1979, the rates of childhood obesity have tripled. It is estimated that over 150 million children in the world are living with obesity and that this will increase to 206 million by 2025.
Children living with obesity are also at a much higher risk of developing physical and emotional health problems. And just as adults living with overweight and obesity face stigma and weight bias, kids in larger bodies are far more likely to be the victims of bullying and teasing while dealing with depression, low self-esteem, negative body image, a struggle with friendships, and eating disorders.
That is why we launched this program on April 14 in honour of the International Day of Pink, so that we can together strive to create a more inclusive and diverse world by standing up against fat shaming and bullying. The International Day of Pink’s goal is to create a more diverse and inclusive society while encouraging young people to challenge social norms, ask more of their educators, and stand up against bullying.