Canadian Teachers “Huddle Up” to Fight for Kids’ Fitness

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With childhood obesity rates reaching epidemic proportions, Health and Physical Education teachers are connecting with social media to promote student health and fitness.

Recent studies on child obesity raise alarming conclusions about the health of Canada’s children. The need for physical activity in the lives of children has been made clear, and Canada’s Physical Education teachers are on the frontline, fighting inactivity in their schools.

Thompson Publishing, a Toronto-based company that produces Health and Physical Education resources for the K–12 market, hopes to play their part in the fight for fitness through the launch of an online, social network called The Huddle, created specifically for Physical Education teachers.

“Teachers across Canada are embracing social media and social networks for their professional development,” says Ted Temertzoglou, author of "Exercise Science: An Introduction to Health and Physical Education" and "Healthy Active Living: Keep Fit, Stay Healthy, Have Fun." “It’s time for H&PE teachers to have an online community they can call home.”

Over a quarter of Canadian youth aged 2–17 are overweight or obese. If these obesity trends continue, it’s estimated that today’s children will live three to four years fewer than their parents, erasing decades of gains made in Canadian life expectancy (Barnes).

The Huddle launches at this year’s Ontario Physical and Health Education Association Conference on October 11 and 12 in Alliston, Ontario. Free for teachers, the Huddle includes forum discussions, app reviews, event listings, and blogs from leading physical education thinkers. Teachers can sign up at http://www.thompsonpublishing.ning.com.

Temertzoglou expects the network to grow quickly.

“We connect at conferences a few times a year, but what we really need is a place where we can support each other, and share best practices, new research, and the latest resources.” says Temertzoglou. “The Huddle is just that—a community for Phys Ed teachers and any other educator who is concerned with the health and physical fitness of Canadian kids.”

For more information, please contact Aerin Guy, Community Manager for The Huddle at aeringuy(at)gmail(dot)com.

Barnes, Steve. "Reducing Childhood Obesity in Ontario through a Health Equity Lens." The Wellesley Institute (2012).

Colley, Rachel, Didier Garraguet, Ian Janssen, Cora Craig, Janine Clark, and Mark Tremblay. "Physical Activity of Canadian Children and Youth: Accelerometers Results from 2007–2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey." Health Reports Statistics Canada 22.1 (2011).

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Jordan Walters
jordan.walters@thompsonbooks.com
905-621-2787
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