3.3.5 Percentage of Canadian children and youth aged 5 to 17 years who meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, by sex and age group, Canada, 2012 and 2013

5 to 11 years* 12 to 17 years** 5 to 17 years
Boys 18 8 13
Girls 9 3 6

*Boys – use with caution
**Use with caution

Source: CICH graphic created using date from the 2012 and 2013 Canadian Health Measures Survey.

The majority of school-aged children and youth are not getting enough physical activity to meet the current Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.

Among children and youth aged 5 to 17 years only 13% of boys and 6% of girls were engaged in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily as recommended in the guidelines.

Girls aged 12 to 17 were least likely to get the recommended amount of activity (3%), whereas boys aged 5 to 11 were most likely to meet the guidelines of 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, but still only 18% did so.

Being active for at least 60 minutes daily and limiting time spent being sedentary to less than 2 hours per day helps children improve their physical health and maintain a healthy body weight; feel better about themselves and have more confidence; improve their fitness level and strength; have fun with their friends; learn new skills; improve at school and feel happier.1

1ParticipAction. The Benefits of Physical Activity.