Importance of all movement behaviors in a 24 hour period for overall health

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Dec 4;11(12):12575-81. doi: 10.3390/ijerph111212575.


Physical inactivity and childhood obesity are well-recognized public health concerns that are associated with a range of adverse health outcomes. Historically, the benefits of physical activity (e.g., moderate-to-vigorous physical activity-MVPA) to overall health have dominated discussions and emerging evidence indicates that a broader, more integrated approach is needed to better understand and address current public health crises. Existing guidelines for children and youth around the world only focus on MVPA, and recently sedentary behavior, despite an accumulating body of evidence showing that light-intensity physical activity (LPA) such as walking can provide important health benefits. Furthermore, there is accumulating support for the importance of adequate sleep and that these behaviors moderate the health impact of each other. Ignoring the other components of the movement continuum (i.e., sleep, sedentary time, LPA) while focusing efforts exclusively on MVPA (accounting for <5% of the time in a 24 h period) limits the potential to optimize the health benefits of movement behaviors. In order to address this limitation, experts in Canada are currently developing the world's first Integrated 24 Hour Movement Behaviour Guidelines for Children and Youth to help advance an integrated healthy active living agenda that has the potential to significantly improve the overall health and well-being of children and youth.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Health Promotion* / standards
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity*
  • Public Health