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.