Physical activity of Canadian children and youth: accelerometer results from the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey

Health Rep. 2011 Mar;22(1):15-23.


Background: Physical activity is an important determinant of health and fitness. This study provides contemporary estimates of the physical activity levels of Canadians aged 6 to 19 years.

Data and methods: Data are from the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. The physical activity of a nationally representative sample was measured using accelerometers. Data are presented as time spent in sedentary, light, moderate and vigorous intensity movement, and in steps accumulated per day.

Results: An estimated 9% of boys and 4% of girls accumulate 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on at least 6 days a week. Regardless of age group, boys are more active than girls. Canadian children and youth spend 8.6 hours per day-62% of their waking hours-in sedentary pursuits. Daily step counts average 12,100 for boys and 10,300 for girls.

Interpretation: Based on objective and robust measures, physical activity levels of Canadian children and youth are low.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Motor Activity*
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Young Adult