Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth (ages 5-17 years):

An Integration of Physical Activity,
Sedentary Behaviour and Sleep

The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth (ages 5-17 years) are the first evidence-based guidelines to address the whole day. Kids are inactive and may be losing sleep over it. They aren’t moving enough to be tired, and they may also be too tired to move.

Research strongly shows the need for a new movement paradigm that emphasizes the integration of all movement behaviours occurring over a whole day, shifting the focus from the individual components to emphasize the whole. The new guidelines encourage Children and Youth to “Sweat, Step, Sleep and Sit” the right amounts for a healthy 24 hours.

These guidelines were developed by the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Group (HALO) of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP), ParticipACTION, The Conference Board of Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and a group of leading researchers from around the world, with the input of over 700 national and international stakeholders.

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For optimal health benefits, children and youth (aged 5–17 years) should achieve high levels of physical activity, low levels of sedentary behaviour, and sufficient sleep each day.

A healthy 24 hours includes

Sweat

Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity

An accumulation of at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity involving a variety of aerobic activities. Vigorous physical activities, and muscle and bone strengthening activities should each be incorporated at least 3 days per week;

Step

Light physical activity

Several hours of a variety of structured and unstructured light physical activities;

Sleep

Uninterrupted 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night for those aged 5–13 years and 8 to 10 hours per night for those aged 14–17 years, with consistent bed and wake-up times;

Sit

Sedentary behaviour

No more than 2 hours per day of recreational screen time; Limited sitting for extended periods.

Preserving sufficient sleep, trading indoor time for outdoor time, and replacing sedentary behaviours and light physical activity with additional moderate to vigorous physical activity can provide greater health benefits.

Build Your Best Day

Explore a new interactive web experience that lets kids imagine a day where they can do anything they want, all the while learning about the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth in a fun way.

Build Your Best Day