Physical Activity Guides
for Children & Youth
Supported by the Government of Ontario
Why do we need Physical
To provide recommendations on the
frequency, intensity, duration and types of
activity needed for health. The Guides are
produced and distributed by Health Canada.
Physical Benefits of Physical
Activity for Children & Youth
Enhances healthy growth and development
Builds strong bones, strengthens muscles
& maintains flexibility
Achieves a healthy weight
Promotes good posture and balance
Strengthens the heart
Physical activity is consistently related to
improvements in self-esteem, self-concept,
depressive symptoms and anxiety / stress.
Sources: Demarco & Sydney - 1989,
Bouchard - 1993 and Malina - 1994.
Physical education has been linked to
improved academic performance,
particularly in mathematics, with
elementary school children.
Source: CFLRI, Benefits and Impact of
Physical Activity for Ontario, 1995
Girls who are active in sports are 92% less
likely to use drugs, 80% less likely to have
an unwanted pregnancy and three times
more likely to graduate from high school.
Sources: The Institute for Athletics and
Education-1993, Sport Nova Scotia-1997,
CAPHERD-1998 and CFLRI-1999
How Active Are the Kids?
Over 50% of children and youth aged
5 to 17 are not active enough for
optimal growth and development
Physical Activity Monitor, 2000
Future Health Issues
Today’s inactive children have an increased risk for:
Cardiovasular Disease Mental Health Problems
Hypertension Orthopedic Problems
High Cholesterol Arthritis
Type 2 Diabetes Some Forms of Cancer
Source: Canadian Pediatric Society -
Position Statement - 2002
Future Health Issues
From 1981 to 1996, the prevalence of
overweight among boys 7-13 increased
from 15% to 35% and among girls, from
15% to 29%
Source: Tremblay and Willms.
Secular Trends in the Body Mass
Index of Canadian Children.
Canadian Medical Association Journal,
Children: 6-9 years Youth: 10-14 years old
The Children & Youth Guides
recommend a minimum of 90 minutes
30 minutes of vigorous activity
60 minutes of moderate activity
How to Meet the
Increase physical activity gradually.
Reduce non-active time (TV, computer,
Build physical activity throughout
the day in periods of at
least 5 to 10 minutes.
Find FUN activities!
What Activities Should
Children & Youth Do?
The magazines are for the children & youth
themselves to help them find fun ways to
meet the Guide Recommendations.
The Family Guides
The Family Guides will assist parents,
caregivers and guardians in helping children &
youth integrate physical activity in their lives.
The Teachers’ Guides
The Teachers’ Guides will assist teachers
through classroom activities and discussions to
help students increase their physical activity.
The Physical Activity Chart & Stickers
The Physical Activity
Chart and Stickers are
ideal for posting on a
fridge or bulletin board.
They are designed for
children 6-9 and will
help them track their
Who Endorses the Guide?
National Organizations: Canadian Psychiatric Association
Active & Safe Routes to School Canadian Psychological Association
Canadian Public Health Association
Arthritis Society Canadian School Boards Association
Assembly of First Nations Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
Association of Local Public Health Agencies Canadian Special Olympics
Block Parent Program of Canada Canadian Teachers' Federation
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada Child/Women's Health Program
Children's Safety Association of Canada
Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine Children's Hospitals:
Child Welfare League of Canada
Canadian Assoc, for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Alberta Children's Hospital
Coalition for Active Living
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Canadian Assoc. for the Advancement of Women & Sport & P.A. College of Family Physicians of Canada
Children's & Women's Health Centre of BC
Canadian Association for Young Children Dietitians of Canada
Hospital for Sick Children
Canadian Association of Principals Family Service Canada
IWK Health Centre
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Canadian Child Care Federation Janeway Children's Hospital
Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada
Canadian Council on Social Development Montreal Children's Hospital
Go for Green
Winnipeg Children's Hospital
Canadian Diabetes Association Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Lifesaving Society
Canadian Home and School Developmental & Pediatric Services
National Crime Prevention Centre
Canadian Institute of Child Health National Institute of Nutrition
Canadian Intramural Recreation Osteoporosis Society of Canada
Canadian Lung Association Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada
Canadian Medical Association Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada
Canadian Mental Health Association Safe Kids Canada, National Injury Prevention Program
Canadian Nurses Association United Way of Canada/Centraide Canada
Canadian Paediatric Society Vanier Institute of the Family
Canadian Parks and Recreation Association Victoria Order of Nurses for Canada
Canadian Physiotherapy Association YMCA of Canada
YWCA of Canada
For More Information
and to Order: