April 18, 2008
Media Release

Turn off your screens and turn up your activity!

York Region invites residents to participate in pause to PLAY: Turn Off the Screens Week
NEWMARKET ˇV The Regional Municipality of York Public Health branch encourages York Region residents to participate in the 5th Annual pause to PLAY: Turn Off the Screens Week from
April 21st to 25th.
Students and families are challenged to turn off or reduce the amount of time spent in front of television and computer screens and get active!
Canadaˇ¦s Physical Activity Guide for Children and Youth outlines that children should be getting a minimum of 90 minutes of moderate (brisk walking) to vigorous (running or jumping) physical activity each day.  However, according to the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute, 91 per cent of Canadian children and youth are not meeting these guidelines. 
pause to PLAY: Turn Off the Screens Week helps families re-establish and increase physical activity and play as part of their daily lifestyle, and encourages children to exchange sedentary screen time with physical activity.
Establishing healthy physical activity and eating habits early on in life can help reduce the risk of adult chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. 
Parents and families can get involved and participate by:  
-Pledging to reduce screen time through participating schools:
York Region Public Health provides registered schools with a pause to PLAY: Turn Off the Screens tool kit.   Students are asked to sign a pledge to turn off or reduce their screen time.  A daily log of screen-free activities is also documented. 
-Pledging to reduce screen time at home:
If your childˇ¦s school has not signed up for this campaign, your family can still participate.  Visit www.york.ca/healthyschools to obtain a parent resource package.  Package contents includes an activity log, parental tips and strategies for limiting screen time and a list of local community events taking place during pause to PLAY: Turn Off the Screens Week.
-Learning about screen time strategies:
For strategies on how to manage television, video game and computer time, visit Active 2010 at www.pausetoplay.ca
For more information about pause to PLAY: Turn off the Screens Week, please contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Cell 905 716-2717
 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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