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26 Mar, Sunday
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Montreal Families

Interactive game teaches kids to be healthy

If your child could do anything they wanted for a day, what would they do? Build Your Best Day is a new, interactive online game that is designed to teach kids about the basics of staying healthy. The game invites users to choose from a variety of different activities — real and imagined — to fill their day.

The only rule is that the activities must follow the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth.

The guidelines suggest what a healthy 24-hour period for children aged 5-17 should include. Children must sweat for 60 minutes, step for several hours of light activity, sleep for 9-11 hours, and sit for no more than two hours per day. Recreational screen and sitting time should be limited as much as possible.

The game starts out with a summary of the guidelines and offers quick tips and suggestions as you go along. Once you begin, you must select five activities per time period (morning, afternoon and night) that create a balanced amount of sweating, stepping, sleeping and sitting.

The available options range from activities like walking the dog, finger-painting and water balloon fights to more active events like sumo-wrestling, jumping on a bouncy castle, playing soccer or ball hockey. The game also includes some imaginary events like swimming with mermaids, chasing fairies, treasure hunting and making secret potions.

Once all choices have been made, your day is assessed by the game and you are given feedback on whether or not it meets the criteria. You are also given information on how to develop healthier habits.

The game was created by the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, the Public Healthy Agency of Canada and ParticipACTION.

The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines were released in 2016 in an effort to increase and encourage healthy habits in growing children, as well as provide educational tools and resources for parents, educators and health professionals.

You can play the game at buildyourbestday.com.

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