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Physical Activity

Guidelines

There are Canadian guidelines that show how much physical activity is needed for people of different ages to be healthy.

For children and youth, the recommendations for physical activity also include information for how much sleep is needed and how much sitting is too much within the 24-hour day. These are called the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines.

The following video from ParticipACTION shares details from the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years. (Video is closed captioned).

 

Young children need support from their parents and caregivers to have a balance of physical activities, sitting time, and sleep for a healthy 24 hour day.

Infants (less than 1 year old)

Move: Need physical activities such as floor-based play several times a day.  For those not yet crawling or walking, 30 minutes of tummy time can be spread out over the day.

Sleep: Infants 0-3 months old need 14 to 17 hours, and infants aged 4-11 months need 12 to 16 hours of good-quality sleep, including naps.

Sit: Should not to be kept in a highchair, stroller, car seat or chair for more than 1 hour at a time. Infants should not spend any time in front of a screen (for example a TV or tablet). It’s good to read with your infant when they are spending time sitting.

Toddlers (1-2 years old)

Move: Need at least 180 minutes (or 3 hours) of active play spread out over the day.

Sleep: Need 11-14 hours of good quality sleep (including naps).  Having regular bedtimes and wake-up times is important.

Sit:  Should not to be kept in a highchair, stroller, car seat or chair for more than 1 hour at a time. Toddlers under 2 years old should not spend any time in front of a screen (E.g. TV, tablet). For toddlers over 2 years old, screen time should not be more than 1 hour a day.   It’s good to read with your infant when they are spending time sitting.

Preschoolers (3-4 years old)

Move:  Need at least 180 minutes (or 3 hours) of active play spread out over the day. At least 60 minutes should be energetic (or more active) play.

Sleep: 10 to 13 hours of good quality sleep (which may include a nap). Having regular bedtimes and wake-up times is important.
Sit: Should not to be kept in a stroller or car seat for more than 1 hour at a time. Toddlers who are 2 years old should not spend more than 1 hour a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, tablet). It’s good to spend time reading and telling stories with preschoolers who are sitting for a while.

To see all of the recommendations in the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years (0-4 years), go to: http://csepguidelines.ca/early-years-0-4/.

Children and youth are encouraged to live an active lifestyle with a balance of physical activities, sitting time, and sleep for a healthy 24 hour day.

Sweat: Children and youth need at least 60 minutes (or 1 hour) a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity. When they are doing this type of activity, they will be sweating and breathing harder. For children and youth who are not very active, any kind of physical activity can be good for their health. Start slow and increase the type of activity bit by bit.

Step: Children and youth need several hours of planned and unplanned (or unstructured) light physical activities (like walking and outdoor play) every day.

Sleep: Children 5-13 years old need 9 to 11 hours of good quality sleep. Children 14-17 years old need 8 to 10 hours of good quality sleep. Having regular bedtimes and wake-up times is important.

Sit: Children and youth need to sit less for long periods of time, and should not spend more than 2 hours using or watching a screen (for example TV, tablet or computer) when it’s not for school work.

To see all of the recommendations in the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth (5-17 years), go to: http://csepguidelines.ca/children-and-youth-5-17/

 

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, 2011.

To see all of the recommendations in the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults (18-64 years), go to:  http://csepguidelines.ca/adults-18-64/

For more information about physical activity during pregnancy, go to: 

http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Topics/PregnancyandBefore/Pregnancy/Exercise.aspx


 

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, 2011.

To see all of the recommendations in the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults (65+ years), go to: http://csepguidelines.ca/adults-65/

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