Healthy active living: Physical activity guidelines for children and adolescents

Paediatr Child Health. 2012 Apr;17(4):209-12. doi: 10.1093/pch/17.4.209.
[Article in English, French]


The epidemic of childhood obesity is rising globally. Although the risk factors for obesity are multifactorial, many are related to lifestyle and may be amenable to intervention. These factors include sedentary time and non-exercise activity thermogenesis, as well as the frequency, intensity, amounts and types of physical activity. Front-line health care practitioners are ideally suited to monitor children, adolescents and their families' physical activity levels, to evaluate lifestyle choices and to offer appropriate counselling. This statement presents guidelines for reducing sedentary time and for increasing the level of physical activity in the paediatric population. Developmentally appropriate physical activity recommendations for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, children and adolescents are provided. Advocacy strategies for promoting healthy active living at the local, municipal, provincial/territorial and federal levels are included.

Keywords: Adolescents; Children; Obesity; Physical activity; Screen time; Sedentary behaviour.