This Version Posted: January 30, 2020

New Physical Activity Guidelines Can Help Parents and Children Get Moving to Improve Their Health

Even as Canadian adults and children get poor marks for being active, a local health promoter says there are ways to get the whole family moving to better make the grade.

ParticipACTION’s first-ever Report Card on levels of activity among Canadian adults gives them an overall ‘D’ grade.

Too much time sitting and not enough time being active are the main reasons for the poor mark, according to ParticipACTION, a national non-profit group that promotes healthy living for all ages.

Children and youth don’t score much better at being active. Based on the most recent ParticipACTION report card from 2018, children and youth in Canada earned a D+ for overall physical activity.

“We know people at all ages and stages of life face challenges from sitting too long or spending too much time in front of screens,” says Lisa Kaldeway, a Health Promoter with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

“That said, there are many good reasons – and resources available – to help us change our lifestyles so we sit less…and sweat, step and stretch more each day.”

One of the best reasons to be physically active are the health benefits that come with it. “Study after study shows a clear link between being active and better physical, mental and emotional health,” Kaldeway adds. “Specifically, physical activity is known to support healthy growth and development in children. It also gives us more energy, decreases stress, makes us stronger and prolongs independence as we age. Being active can also reduce our risk of certain chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.”

Making the most of every minute each day is the best advice to be more active, and newly-developed 24 Hour Movement Guidelines can assist families to do this. There are two versions of the 24-Hour Guidelines available – one with an ‘early years’ focus (children up to age four) and the other aimed at children and youth (ages 5-17 years). Both guidelines – available at ParticipACTION’s Build Your Best Day website ( – encourage a balance between being active, sitting and sleeping enough each day. Resources such as fact sheets, activity posters and games are also available to get youngsters moving.

Kaldeway says adults and seniors 65+ can also discover age-specific resources for themselves at the Build Your Best Day website. “Being active is good for our health, no matter what our age,” she adds. “It’s important that we not overdo it, but instead build up slowly to reach an activity level that is comfortable and appropriate for us.”

For media inquiries, contact:

Lisa Kaldeway, Health Promoter, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2207