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York University ‘gets moving’ in response to Report Card on kids’ physical activity

TORONTO, May 20, 2014 – York University is responding to a call for global action on physical activity among children by sending York students into local communities to get kids moving, and by partnering with international programs that will enable them to study physical activity and health abroad, and welcome international students to York to do the same here.

The 2014 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, released today by Active Healthy Kids Canada and partners, for the first time looked at how Canadian child and youth physical activity stacks up against 14 other countries. It found that Canada is among the top countries for providing physical activity infrastructure and programs to support kids’ activities, but is at the back of the global pack for overall physical activity levels among children and youth.

York University’s KIN Kids program will expand this summer, offering children in several Ontario communities the opportunity to engage in a guided active play program focused on cooperative games that develop self-confidence and promote fun and fitness benefits. The program is led by Kinesiology students in York’s Faculty of Health.

In addition, York is responding directly to the Report Card’s call for international action on childhood activity levels through a new Global Health degree program, which will start this fall. York’s Faulty of Health is the only academic institution in Canada to respond to the Report Card with commitments through a new degree program.

“This program, which will be unique in Canada, will offer students the opportunity to improve health for children worldwide and at home in many ways, including through physical activity,” said Professor Angelo Belcastro, Chair of York’s School of Kinesiology and Health Science, who is also Chair of the board of directors of Active Healthy Kids Canada.

During the group’s 2014 Global Summit on the Physical Activity of Children, graduate students from 31 countries will be speaking about their research at a student engagement event. York graduate student Asal Moghaddaszadeh, who is hosting the student event, will be looking for opportunities for York students to work with students from around the world.

Following the Global Summit, Belcastro and other representatives of Canada and other countries will meet to identify opportunities to work together to internationally monitor and increase physical activity among children.

York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York’s 11 faculties and 28 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni.

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Media Contact: Janice Walls, Media Relations, York University, 416 736 2100 x 22101 / wallsj@yorku.ca