Physical Activity for Children and Youth (5-17)

The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth (ages 5-17 years) encourages children to ‘sweat, step, sleep and sit‘ the right amounts for a healthy 24 hours.

Research shows that all movement behaviours that happen over a full day are important.

Sweat (click to expand) »

Children and youth aged five-17 need to get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity each day.

Moderate-intensity physical activities will make your child sweat a little and breathe harder. Your child should still be able to talk but not sing. Vigorous-intensity physical activities will make your child sweat and be out of breath. When active at this level your child will only be able to say a few words without stopping for a breath.

Step (Light Physical Activity) (click to expand) »

Children and youth need several hours of light physical activity (LPA) each day. LPA will not make your child sweat or be out of breath but counts towards their overall physical activity for the whole day. Help your child or youth get more by replacing screen time with activity.

Sleep (click to expand) »

Children aged five-13 need nine to 11 hours of sleep each night. Youth aged 14-17 require eight to 10 hours of sleep each night.

Sit (click to expand) »

Sitting or taking part in sedentary behaviours for long periods of time should be limited. Reduce sedentary behaviour by limiting recreational screen time to less than two hours per day.

Parents and family members can have a positive influence on the activity level of children and youth. The more families move, the more children and youth move.  Make family time active time. Try the Family First Workout video below from Participaction. Get more ideas on the ParticipACTION website.

Please visit CSEP for more detailed information.

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Last updated: 2024-03-27