Canadian 24-Hour
Movement Guidelines:

An Integration of Physical
Activity, Sedentary Behaviour,
and Sleep

Why these Guidelines are important

Welcome to the CSEP Guidelines information hub, featuring the latest updates and resources for the Canadian Physical Activity and 24-Hour Movement guidelines. We are pleased to feature the release of the world’s first 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for children in their early years.

We think of young children as busy, but that doesn’t mean they’re active. Many Canadian kids are getting too little physical activity, and spending too much time in front of screens, which is particularly harmful before age five.

As young children grow and develop, they need to work towards high levels of physical activity, low levels of sedentary behaviour and sufficient sleep each day to be healthy — they need to Move, Sleep and Sit the right amounts. The new Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years (ages 0-4) show there is an important relationship between how much sleep, sedentary behaviour and physical activity children get in a 24-hour period.

All types of movement matter, and a balance is best for health


Amount of tummy time recommended for 
infants not yet mobile.


Amount of energetic play recommended 
for preschoolers every day.


Recommended screen time limit for toddlers 
and preschoolers over 2 years old.

Get the 24-Hour Movement & Activity Guidelines

Early Years (0-4)

Infants, toddlers and preschoolers need to Move, Sleep and Sit the right amounts. View guidelines

Children + Youth (5-17)

Guidelines encourage kids to Sweat, Step, Sleep and Sit the right amounts each day. View guidelines

Adults (18-64)

Guidelines to help maximize the health benefits of physical activity for adults. View guidelines

Older Adults (65+)

Physical activity recommendations to maintain health and quality of life. View guidelines

Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for special populations


Evidence-based guideline that outlines the right amount of physical activity women should get throughout pregnancy to promote maternal, fetal, and neonatal health.

View guidelines

Multiple Sclerosis

Guidelines for adults (aged 18-64 years) with minimal to moderate disability resulting from either remitting or progressive forms of multiple sclerosis.

View guidelines

Guidelines news and updates

Keep up-to-date on the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines with the latest articles, research and initiatives.

Practicing healthy movement behaviours in the COVID-19 era

Every Step Counts! Help Celebrate World Physical Activity Day – April 6, 2020

Each year on April 6th , the World Health Organization celebrates World Physical Activity Day Agita Mundo: Move for Health.  Yet this year, Canadians are being asked to practice physical distancing to decrease the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Many Canadians now work from home, cancelling large meetings, and generally limiting their physical interactions with their colleagues, peers, and family.

These new restrictions may affect the physical and mental health of Canadians. Now more than ever is the time to adhere to healthy lifestyle behaviours, including a good night’s sleep, engaging in regular exercise, and moderating your sedentary time to maintain a healthy immune system and build a strong defence. Getting some time outdoors every day if you can, is also important to combat feelings of depression and anxiety that may come with self-isolation.

Read the full release here.

Learn more about Practicing Healthy Movement Behaviours in the COVID-19 Era on this website.

Expert Panel: Cancer Treatment Plans Should Include Tailored Exercise Prescriptions

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology is the Canadian partner on the development of new recommendations for incorporating exercise into Cancer prevention and treatment.

New guidance published today from exercise oncology experts recommends how health care and qualified exercise professionals can use exercise prescription to develop exercise programs that lower the risk of developing certain cancers and meet the needs of those living with cancer as well as survivors.

The new evidence-based guidelines emphasize the strong benefit of physical activity and how it can be used to improve many of the common side effects of cancer treatments, like fatigue. Experts now recommend that cancer patients and survivors strive to complete 30 minutes sessions of aerobic and resistance exercise three times per week to achieve health benefits. The research reinforces the conversation in Canada and around the world of the importance of exercise as part of supportive care in cancer.

Read full release. 

Development for the world’s first 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults and Older Adults underway

OTTAWA, June 19, 2019  – Physical activity is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. Yet increasingly we are seeing that Canadians of all ages are choosing sedentary activities over active ones.

This week, the Government of Canada announced funding for the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) to develop the world’s first 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults and Older Adults. The 24-Hour Movement Guidelines will recommend the right amounts of physical activity, sleep, and sedentary time for a healthy 24-hours.

Physical activity throughout pregnancy enhances physical and mental health and reduces risk of pregnancy complications

Physical activity is a critical component of achieving a healthy pregnancy according to a new joint Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) and Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) evidence-based pregnancy & physical activity guideline. Following the guideline can reduce the risk of pregnancy-related illness such as depression by at least 25 percent, and the risk of developing gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and preeclampsia by 40 percent.

Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for children in their early years released

November 20, 2017 – The world’s first evidence-based 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years (ages 0-4 years), released today, outline how much young children need to move, sleep and sit each day. The new guidelines combine physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines and include sleep, showing the important interrelationship between all three behaviours.

BMC Public Health Special Journal Supplement

Background research informing the new guidelines is published in a special issue of BMC Public Health, released November 20, 2017.

Terminology A to Z

Not sure what we mean by the movement continuum? Need to know the difference between light, medium and vigorous-intensity physical activity? The Guidelines Glossary of Terms has the answers.

View Glossary
What if you could do anything you wanted for one day?

Imagine running from zombies, riding a unicorn or sleeping in a bed full of puppies all in one day. Sound like the best day possible for a childever? Well it’s also the healthiest one, with Build Your Best Day. Build Your Best Day is 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

About CSEP

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) is the resource for translating advances in exercise science research into the promotion of fitness, performance, and health outcomes for Canadians. CSEP sets the highest standards for qualified exercise professionals through evidence-based practice and certification. See what drives us