Participating in regular physical activity and limiting sedentary behaviour is an effective way to prevent the development of many health risks, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Since 1995, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) have worked together on the development of Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines to promote healthy active living in the Canadian population.
Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, released in January 2011, encourage children and youth to participate in a variety of enjoyable and safe physical activities that support their natural development. The guidelines describe the amount and types of physical activity that offer substantial health benefits for Canadians.
For health benefits, children (aged 5 − 11 years) and youth (aged 12 − 17 years) should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily. This should include:
- Vigorous-intensity activities at least 3 days per week
- Activities that strengthen muscle and bone at least 3 days per week
- More daily physical activity
For more information on the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, go to: csep.ca/guidelines
Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
The Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines were released in February 2011, and describe the recommended amount of time that Canadians should reduce their involvement in sedentary pursuits in order to reduce health risks. Sedentary behaviour is time when children and youth are doing very little physical movement.
The Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend that for health benefits, children (aged 5 − 11 years) and youth (aged 12 − 17 years) should minimize the time they spend being sedentary each day (lower levels are associated with additional health benefits).
For more information on the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines, go to: csep.ca/guidelines