Physical Activity Report Card 2016

ParticipACTION Report Card

Children and Youth in Canada

George Cho, MFSc, CEP, CSCS


Every year, the organization: ParticipACTION, releases a report card summarizing the studies which give us a glimpse of the current state of physical activity and sedentary behaviors among Canada's young people. Below are the highlights from that report. A link to the full text is provided below.


What the grades mean

Grade assignments are determined based on examination of the current data and literature for each indicator against a benchmark or optimal scenario, assessing the indicator to be poor, adequate, good or excellent:

A = We are succeeding with a large majority of children and youth.

B = We are succeeding with well over half of children and youth.

C = We are succeeding with about half of children and youth.

D = We are succeeding with less than half, but some, children and youth.

F = We are succeeding with very few children and youth.



Overall Physical Activity = D-

As the guidelines change to 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity per day, only 14% of 5-11 year olds, and 5% of 12-17 year olds are meeting the guidelines.


Organized Sport & Physical Activity Participation = B

77% of 5- to 19-year-olds participate in organized physical activities or sport.


Active Play = D+

37% of 11- to 15-year-olds play outdoors for at least 2 hours each day.


Active Transportation = D

24% of Canadian parents say their kids, aged 5 to 17, typically walk or wheel to and from school, while 62% say their kids are typically driven

24% of 11-15 year olds walk to school and 2% bike


Sedentary Behaviors = F

High school students in Canada spend an average of 8 hours in screen-based sedentary behaviour each day.2


Family and Peers = C+

36% of parents with 5- to 17-year-olds report playing active games with their kids.


Sleep = B

79% of 5- to 13-year-olds get the recommended 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night, and 68% of 14- to 17-year-olds get the recommended 8 to 10 hours per night.

33% of Canadian children aged 5 to 13 and 45% of youth aged 14 to 17 have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

In recent decades, children’s nightly sleep duration has decreased by about 30-60 minutes.14,15

31% of school-aged children and 26% of adolescents in Canada are sleep deprived



These statistics are definitely suggestive of a major issue within our young population. In terms of promoting and implementing physical activity as a part of our whole way of living, Canadians have to get the move on (pardon the pun).



Click here to view the full report card

George Cho