Our study aims to understand the impact of transitioning from elementary school (grade 7) to secondary school (grade 8) on students’ health behaviours, including physical activity and sedentary activity, such as screen time and dietary habits.
Canadian youth currently do not meet the recommendations for healthy behaviours (adequate physical activity, reduced screen time or healthy dietary habits) that are crucial for healthy growth and development. Evidence suggests that the transition from elementary to secondary school is pivotal and influential regarding choices to be physically active and consume a less healthful diet. In addition, preliminary findings suggest that COVID-19 has negatively impacted these health behaviours and as such, our study will be able to asses this, as we can compare the data we collect this year with data we collected before the pandemic.
Given these health behaviours are linked to academic performance, we are also interested in exploring these associations as well. We anticipate that these research findings may inform provincial initiatives and, ultimately, turn the tide on the crises of unhealthy behaviours among Canada’s youth.
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