Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines

Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines set standards for how often and how much activity children and adults should do.  The guidelines recommend how much time you need to spend to achieve health benefits from physical activity.

Physical activity for babies and young children

Here are the guidelines for physical activity for babies and young children:

  • 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.

Physical activity for children and youth

Here are the guidelines for physical activity for children and youth:

  • 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.

Physical activity for adults

Here are the guidelines for physical activity for adults:

  • 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).