Google Translate Disclaimer

Translation on this website is provided by Google Translate, a third-party automated translator tool. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of translations performed by Google Translate, or for any issues or damages resulting from its use.

print header

Physical activity report cards

Every year ParticipACTION puts together a report card that provides valuable information about how Canadians are doing with respect to their levels of physical activity.

ParticipACTION’s Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth provides valuable information about child and youth physical activity in Canada.

The 2024 ParticipACTION Report Card titled “Rallying for Resilience: Keeping Children and Youth Active in a Changing Climate” acknowledges that barriers to getting active have varied for children and youth in Canada. Well- known contributing factors include, increased screen time, less opportunities for active transportation, limited access to green spaces, costs and financial commitments, and busy schedules contributing to time constraints. With the number of annual weather alerts in Canada having doubled in the past 10 years, ParticipACTION suggests it is time for Canada to recognize the impacts of climate change as an added barrier to getting children and youth active. 

Extreme weather events and natural disasters across the country, such as forest fires, floods, and heatwaves have brought the impacts of a changing climate to the forefront. We need to look at prioritizing the development of mitigation strategies and measures to enhance community and individual resilience.

Current and impending effects of climate change could be particularly harmful for children and youth’s physical activity. Children face a greater risk for developing lung disease as they age when exposed to air pollution as compared to adults. Unfavourable weather and climate conditions lead to recesses and outdoor sport and recreation activities being cancelled and more time spent indoors being sedentary with increased screen time. Overall physical fitness has a direct impact on heat tolerance, so it is possible children who are less fit could have a reduced ability to adjust to and tolerate rising temperatures in the changing climate. Furthermore, children can’t regulate their body temperature as well as adults in extreme cold and heat. This puts them at greater health risk in extreme temperature even before physical fitness levels are taken into account.

The 2024 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth shows higher grades compared to the 2022 Report Card in some areas, including Overall Physical Activity coming in at a D+, an increase from a D at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Overall Physical Activity grade has improved, a D+ is still an undesirable grade.

Only 39% of children and youth in Canada met the physical activity recommendation within the  Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. Other grades include a D for “Sedentary Behaviour”, a B- for “Sleep” and an F for “24-Hour Movement Behaviours”.


What can we do as a family to support healthy movement behaviours of kids?
There is a lot we can do as family to encourage and support healthy movement behaviours with our children and youth.

  • Set expectations for how much physical activity children should get each day.
  • Create routines to help children to meet the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines.
  • Be active as a family - this encourages physical activity, social support, connectedness and attachment, which are all important for good mental health.
  • Encourage more outdoor time in nature to increase physical activity, decrease sedentary behaviour and improve emotional well-being and sleep. Outdoor nature-based play also promotes children’s connection to the earth and environmental stewardship.
  • Incorporate more opportunities for active transportation - walk, bike, wheel, skateboard, scooter or take transit to school, stores, parks and activities.
  • Be a good role model by being physically active, limiting your own sedentary behaviour and screen time.
  • Break up time spent sitting, set limits around screen time and remove screens from children's bedrooms.

Involve the kids in creating a family media plan that includes setting limits around screen viewing, prioritizing screen-free family time, removing screens from children’s bedrooms and having screen-free family meals. 

Check out all the great information and tips found in the Report Card for Children and Youth here.

In 2021, ParticipACTION released a report card on adult physical activity. This report card focuses on moving toward a better normal since Canada is facing a physical inactivity crisis that has been deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report card provides indicators and grades for a number of specific movement behaviours that may occur over a 24-hour period.

Some of the grades and key points include:

Grade C for Total Daily Steps. This refers to the number of steps an individual takes throughout the day. Only 49% of adults take at least 7,500 steps per day, down slightly from 52% in the previous report card.  Every step counts toward overall health and well-being.  Some physical activity is better than none.  Take more steps throughout the day.

Grade C for Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity.  This refers to physical activity that increases heart rate and breathing such as brisk walking, tennis, cycling, swimming, dancing etc.). Only 49% of adults are getting at least 150 minutes of this type of physical activity every week as recommended for health. 

Grade F for Active Transportation.  This refers to any form of human-powered transportation, such as walking, cycling/wheeling to get to and from places.  Active transportation is an effective way to fit regular physical activity into daily life.  Only 7% of adults use active transportation.  Active transportation is also a great way to be social and help our environment.

Grade D for Sport Participation. This type of activity can contribute to the total amount of recommended daily physical activity.  Just 27% of adults participate in sports, and participation usually decreases with age.  Sport participation can support people to age well, maintain health, feel part of the community, and develop relationships.

Check out all of the great information and tips found in the Report Card for Adults here.

Did you find what you were looking for today?
What did you like about this page?
How can we improve this page?

If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

Thanks for your feedback.
Failed to submit comment. Please try submitting again or contact us at the Health Unit.
Comment already submitted ...