Parents Consider School Health and Physical Education Classes Important, Seek Improvements to Current Offering

Obesity Considered the Pre-eminent Health Issue Facing Children Today

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Toronto, ON – Parents of public elementary school children in Ontario generally recognize the importance of Health and Physical Education classes in school, a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Ophea reveals.

Three quarters of parents (74%) recognize Health Class in schools as being very important for their elementary school child, while over eight-in ten (84%) consider Physical Education to be so. Although elementary school parents recognize the importance of these classes for their children’s health, they are less than fully satisfied with the quality of classes being offered at schools.

The poll, taken October 7-14 among parents of Ontario elementary school children, also reveals that 44% of parents cite Obesity, top-of-mind, as being a main health issue facing children today, far outstripping any other health issue. Lack of exercise also features as a major concern, voluntarily cited among 16% of elementary school parents.

Health Classes Underwhelm

While approaching half (44%) are very satisfied with the quality of their child’s Physical Education class, only a quarter (26%) say the same about Health classes. Indeed, a full quarter (25%) say that they think Health Classes in schools do “not very much/nothing at all” to help prepare their children for health issues of concern to parents.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Ophea from October 7-14, 2010. For the survey, a sample of 427 public elementary school parents (child[ren] in Grade 1-8) living in Ontario was interviewed online. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±4.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire public elementary school parent population of Ontario been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample's regional, gender and education composition reflects that of the actual population according to Census data. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Anna Little
Research Manager
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
(416) 324-2298

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Parents Consider School Health and Physical Education Classes Important, Seek Improvements to Current Offering


Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America