In October 2017, Statistics Canada released data that used accelerometers to assess physical activity and sedentary behaviour (and sleep patterns) of Canadian children and youth.  This research used the new 24-hour movement guidelines to assess status of children and youth.

Average physical activity levels of children and youth in Canada have not changed according to this research.  It is important to note that if you previously used Canadian Health Measures data to describe inactivity in children and youth (over 90% inactive) – it can’t be compared to this data because it used the old PA guidelines (60 minutes minimum of moderate to vigorous PA per day) and the new 24-hour movement guidelines used in this new research are for AN AVERAGE of 60 minutes per day.  Changing the guideline from a minimum per day to an average allows more children to fit into the “meeting the guidelines” category.  So physical activity levels have not changed, the way we asses and categorize them has changed.

There is a great infographic that summarizes the research.


  • Average daily PA for children and youth has remained fairly consistent in Canada since 2007
  • 33% of Canadian children and youth (ages 5-17) meet the current guidelines for moderate to vigorous physical activity
  • Only ½ of Canadian children and youth meet the screen time recommendation.
  • Physical activity declines with age*:
      • 5-year-old boys receive an average of 81 minutes of physical activity per day, while 12-17-year old boys receive an average of 55 minutes per day
      • 5-year-old girls receive an average of 68 minutes of physical activity per day, while 12-17 year old girls receive an average of 41 minutes per day

*remember:  these are averages. This helps to illustrate decline in physical activity with age, but doesn’t describe the % of the target groups reaching the guidelines.  Other data in this research showed that 48% of children aged 5 to 11 met the PA guidelines vs. 24.4% of youth aged 12-17.  % of children/youth meeting the screen time guidelines also declined with age.

In November 2017, New Canadian 24 Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years were released:

  • These are the first 24-hour movement guidelines for this age group.  They address sleep, sedentary behavior and physical activity
  • All types of movement matter and balance is required for optimal health
  • Also, new:
    • Recommendation for 30 minutes of tummy time over the day for infants
    • Recommendation for inclusion of energetic play in toddlers
    • Recommendation for inclusion of at least 60 minutes of energetic play for preschoolers
    • Encouragement of quality sedentary behaviors like reading and storytelling
  • Almost all toddlers meet the current PA guidelines, only 15% meet the screen time guidelines, 12% meet the overall movement guidelines
  • 62% of preschoolers (ages 3-4) meet these PA guidelines, 24% meet the screen time guidelines, 13% meet overall movement guidelines.


The 2018 Active Living Research Conference will be held in Banff from February 11 to 14th, 2018.  The conference theme is “Future-Proofing Activity:  Application Across Sectors”.


Looking for a way to support walking for those who are hesitant to walk outside in the winter?  Read how mall walking is facilitated in Alberta.

Volunteer run walking groups can have good reach and retention for those at risk for physical inactivity according to this recent research article.  Opportunities for social connection are an important benefit of these groups.

More Americans are walking to work in cities and towns of various sizes according to a recent report from America Walks.

This systematic review reinforces benefits accrued by “simply becoming more physically active”.  This review was assessed as having “moderate” quality.

This article is about a walkability project in East Preston and speaks to the value of the initiative in potentially creating a stronger, more socially connected and physically active rural community for an underserved population.

Have you heard about the Walk-able Wolfville Campaign?  Click on “WOLFVILLE WALKABILITY” to watch the promotional video.

Active Transportation

The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, in partnership with the Province of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Regional Municipality, will be hosting the first Atlantic Canada Active Transportation Summit to be held on May 23-24, 2018 at the Halifax Central Library.  The event will feature guest speakers from across Atlantic Canada and will promote information sharing among communities and practitioners.  Send an email to ATSummit2018@halifax.ca to receive the call for presentations, registration opening and other AT Summit updates.

The Conference Board of Canada is hosting:  Thinking About Infrastructure 2018:  Querying the Infrastructure Gap on April 25-26th in Ottawa.

Less Structured Physical Activity Opportunities

The Town of Antigonish is installing a temporary outdoor skating facility at a local ball field.

Access and Inclusion

Canadian Tire Jumpstart helps kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation. The Play Finds a Way movement will remove barriers for kids with disabilities.   Jumpstart Accessibility Grants will support construction and renovation capital costs to improve accessibility of recreation facilities.

Communities Culture and Heritage are offering grants for small businesses to improve accessibility.  1 Million dollars has been invested into the Small Business ACCESS-Ability Program in support of the new Accessibility Act.

The Free ice time project in Amherst has resulted in increased in skating club registrations, minor hockey registrations and a 60 per cent increase in public skating.  (See page 5 in the Sport Nova Scotia newsletter)

Baddeck Pop Ban Update


Rural Children and Adults Have Significantly Higher Rates of Obesity than their Urban Counterparts 


– This study on ways to better improve active living in rural communities.  Many of these items would make sense for physical activity strategies in rural municipalities and Mi’kmaw communities.


Even after accounting for differences such as socioeconomic factors, eating behaviors, and physical activity. Higher rates of overweight and obesity among rural residents, even after accounting for these demographic and behavioral factors, suggests that rural environments themselves may somehow promote obesity. Based on recent national body mass index (BMI) data, the obesity rate for rural children ages 2–18 is 22 percent, compared to 17 percent for urban children. Among children, rural black children have the highest risk of all subgroups, with a higher obesity rate than both rural white children5 and urban black children.Among adults, 40 percent of rural adults are obese, compared to 33% of urban adults.

Sugar, Heart Disease & Stroke


Position Statement by Heart & Stroke Foundation

New supplement to the Journal of PA and Health that focuses on Walking:


Alzheimers Could Be Prevented By Meeting Minimum Physical Activity Guidelines


Researchers recently reviewed over 800 studies and concluded that 1 in 7 cases of ‪#‎Alzheimers‬ could be prevented if everyone met the minimum guidelines of 150 minutes of ‪#‎exercise‬ per week, in doses as short as 10 minutes at a time.

Checkup CBC Panel: Cancer the #1 Killer – Aired Nov 25th on CBC

CBC Health Panel has the latest on cancer. What are we doing to prevent it, what are we doing to treat it and are we any closer to a cure?


High Cost of Obesity


The Secrets of Sugar


Happy Feet
Series on research at Cape Breton University, discuss why walking and biking to school with your children creates positive emotions. Catherine O’Brien, an Associate Professor in the Education Department at the School of Professional Studies at CBU, explains. Monday January 20, 2014

Daily Physical Activity May Help Lower Parkinson’s Risk


Obese, Overweight Population hits 2.1 billion worldwide


Older Women Who Exercise Outdoors More Likely To Stick With It, Study Finds



Let Them Play project supported after school physical activity programs for children ages 5-12 in Kings County, Nova Scotia. The project uncovered insights on how to structure a successful after school program and on the types of programs that work well for engaging children in physical activity. These insights are share in the report titled Let Them Play: Lessons in After School Program Quality Through the RBC Learn to Play Project (authors: Legrand, Memet, Raftery). It also provides recommendations for funding and policies related to after school programs. Download the report. http://activeafterschool.ca/resource/let-them-play-lessons-after-school-program-quality-kings-county-nova-scotia

The project was part of a year-long Leadership Project undertaken by the Kings County Recreation Group, with funding support from RBC, the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, the Province of Nova Scotia, Sport Nova Scotia and the Municipality of the County of Kings.

Congestive Heart Failure Risk


Pacific Medical Training Health Articles through David Patterson:


Published the following articles which you may want to check:





Suzanne Michaels
Editorial Staff –  Pacific Medical Training
1-800-417-1748, Ext. 108

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