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How much for school-age children? (5 – 11 years)

Physical activity

Sedentary behaviour

Accumulate ≥ 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily, including:

  • Vigorous-intensity activities (≥ 3 days/week)
  • Activities that strengthen muscle and bone (≥ 3 days/week)

Minimize sedentary time:

  • Limit recreational screen time to no more than  2 hours a day
  • Limit sedentary (motorized) transport, sitting time, and time indoors 

Our experts talk about the role physicians play in helping children and teens maintain healthy, active lives.
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What being active means

How to increase 
physical activity

How to reduce
sedentary behaviour

Starting at 5 years, activities should be more intense:

Moderate-intensity physical activities include:
bike riding, playground activities, skateboarding, brisk walking, hiking, canoeing, baseball and softball. 

Vigorous-intensity physical activities include:
running, swimming, aerobics, basketball, vigorous dancing, ice or field hockey.

Activities that strengthen muscle and bone include: games like hopscotch, tag, and jumping rope; sports such as gymnastics, basketball, volleyball, tennis; push-ups; swinging on playground equipment or bars; climbing ropes, walls or trees; running.

  • Play active games (e.g., tag, jump rope)
  • Visit playground after school
  • Treasure hunt in a local outdoor space
  • Walk or sled in the park
  • “Puddle hop” on a rainy day
  • Increase active transportation to school                                                      
  • Set rules to limit after school screen time
  • Keep TVs and other screens out of bedrooms
  • Increase active transportation to school
  • Visit friends instead of texting
  • Walk family or neighbour’s dog
  • Stand up and move around after long periods of sitting

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Last updated: Feb 6, 2024