Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines
The guidelines set standards for how often and how much activity children and adults should do and make recommendations on how much time you need to spend to achieve health benefits from physical activity.
What can i do to stay active?
- Babies under one year old should be active several times a day, especially through floor play (e.g., crawling or playing ball).
- Children ages one to four should do 180 minutes of activity every day.
- Activities should develop movement.
- Babies and children should spend less than one hour sitting in a stroller or high chair at one time.
- Children less than two years old should not watch TV at all; those ages two to four years of age should watch less than one hour of TV each day.
- Children and youth should do moderate to vigorous physical activity for 60 minutes every day.
- Moderate activity makes children and youth sweat (e.g., riding bikes).
- Vigorous activity makes children and youth sweat and be out of breath (e.g., swimming or running).
- Children and youth should do vigorous activity at least three days a week.
- Time spent watching TV, playing video games and on the computer should be less than two hours a day.
- Time spent sitting should be limited.
- Adults should spend 150 minutes each week doing moderate to vigorous aerobic activities in at least 10 minute time blocks.
- Vigorous activity makes you sweat and be out of breath (e.g., swimming or running)
- Moderate activity makes you to sweat (e.g., riding a bike or walking).
Active communities are where:
- Groups, families and people value and support active lifestyles
- Physical activity is accessible, affordable and appealing for all
- Physical activity is available every day where people live, learn, work and play and people lead healthy active lives
Physical activity includes leisure-time physical activity, exercise, sport, transportation, work and chores.
Changes needed to have active communities in Hamilton
Here are some changes that we can make in Hamilton to have active communities:
- Reduce use of cars through programs such as car sharing or carpooling
- Develop transit systems such as Light Rail Transit
- Develop an efficient, convenient and more accessible transit system
- Use compact design for city planning and having mixed use and mixed income housing
- Increase bike parking, sidewalks and safe parks and trails
- Reduce the amount of time spent sitting by increasing physical activity in schools, active transportation such as biking to work, taking active breaks at work and during leisure time such as walking on your morning break at work
- Increase community safety
Benefits of active communities
Regular physical activity provides health benefits and helps prevent chronic diseases such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Some mental health issues
- Some cancers
- Type 2 diabetes