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May 12, 2014
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Children must be physically active

Minister of State with responsibility for Primary Health Care Infrastructure in the Ministry of Health, Luther Buchanan, says there's a need to address sedentary behaviour in children.

Speaking Saturday at 'Move Fest', hosted by the Ministry and the Southern Regional Health Authority at the Mandeville Primary and Junior High School in Manchester, Buchanan said modern technology has many persons sitting on the couch with a remote in hand or video game controller all day. He said these behaviours have to be addressed, especially in our children.

"I am a rural man and growing up I was used to outdoor activities like kite flying, pulling trucks made out of juice boxes and bottle caps for wheels ... . Children these days do not get the opportunity to experience that kind of fun," he said.

Buchanan said parents may be better able to afford high-tech toys nowadays, but they still have to teach children the value of outdoor play and being physically active.

"There are many fun and simple things we can do to improve our levels of physical activity, while being an example to children ... take a walk with your children, turn on some music in your living room and just dance," he said.

The Ministry recommends that persons engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day for five days per week. The goal of the ministry is to increase participation in physical activity by at least five per cent over the next five years.

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