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About RBC > Media Newsroom > News Releases > The Parent Trap - Canadian Parents Struggle to Balance Family Responsibilities and Physical Health: RBC Poll

The Parent Trap - Canadian Parents Struggle to Balance Family Responsibilities and Physical Health: RBC Poll

Four-in-ten spending an hour or less a week getting physically fit

TORONTO, September 21, 2011— As Canadian parents settle into another busy school season, getting physically fit will likely be a low priority, according to a recent RBC Insurance survey conducted by Ipsos Reid. Forty-one per cent of Canadians with children say that they only spend an hour or less a week getting physically fit, compared to 46 per cent who say they spend more time (2 to15 hours) driving their kids to extra-curricular activities and 49 per cent who spend 2 to15 hours doing homework projects with their children.

"It's easy to see how parents can lose themselves in their children's activities, especially at this time of year," said Cathy Preston, vice-president, Life and Health, RBC Insurance. "However, moms and dads also need to invest time in their own physical health to ensure that they live a longer, healthy life with their families. Participating in physical activities with their children is a great option."

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that adults (18 to 64 years old) get at least 2.5 hours a week of exercise to achieve health benefits. Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of over 25 chronic conditions such as coronary heart disease, breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

Putting off physical fitness is not the only thing parents are deferring - some aren't making their financial health a priority either. Approximately 20 per cent of Canadians with families don't have life insurance and 22 per cent say one of the major reasons is that they just haven't gotten around to buying it.

"Canadians who don't take care of their health when they're younger are also at a greater risk of increased health issues as they age, which can make it even more expensive or difficult to apply for life insurance," adds Preston. "Parents who take care of their physical health and start planning for their family's future early, in many cases, can save significantly on life insurance."

For example, waiting until after the age of 40 can increase premiums by $139/yr. (Based on a 30 year old male, non-smoker with a Term 20, $250,000 policy.) For women, the premiums would increase by $89/yr.

RBC Insurance offers a wide range of life insurance products. For more information, go online to, call 1-800-565-3129 or visit a local RBC Insurance retail branch.

These are the findings of an RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid survey conducted between May 13-24, 2011. The online survey of 3,931 adult Canadians was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An unweighted probability sample of this size, with 100 per cent response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of ±2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Margins of error for subgroups will be higher.

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For more information, please contact:

Margie McNeil, Senior Manager, Communications, RBC Insurance
905 606-1425

Angela Gordon, Advisor, Communications, RBC Insurance
905 816-5650