Canadian sedentary behaviour guidelines for children and youth

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2011 Feb;36(1):59-64; 65-71. doi: 10.1139/H11-012.
[Article in English, French]


The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP), in partnership with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, and in collaboration with ParticipACTION, and others, has developed the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Children (aged 5-11 years) and Youth (aged 12-17 years). The guidelines include a preamble to provide context, followed by the specific recommendations for sedentary behaviour. The entire development process was guided by the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research Evaluation (AGREE) II instrument, which is the international standard for clinical practice guideline development. Thus, the guidelines have gone through a rigorous and transparent developmental process and the recommendations are based on evidence from a systematic review and interpretation of the research evidence. The final guidelines benefitted from an extensive online consultation process with 230 domestic and international stakeholders and key informants. The final guideline recommendations state that for health benefits, children (aged 5-11 years) and youth (aged 12-17 years) should minimize the time that they spend being sedentary each day. This may be achieved by (i) limiting recreational screen time to no more than 2 h per day - lower levels are associated with additional health benefits; and (ii) limiting sedentary (motorized) transport, extended sitting time, and time spent indoors throughout the day. These are the first evidence-based Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Children and Youth and provide important and timely recommendations for the advancement of public health based on a systematic synthesis, interpretation, and application of the current scientific evidence.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity*
  • Public Health
  • Recreation
  • Sedentary Behavior*