Have you heard of Canada’s 24-Hour Movement Guidelines? A daily balance of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep play an important role in the healthy development of children and youth of all abilities. It is recommended that children and youth 5-17 years of age accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day, several hours of structured and unstructured light physical activities, 8-11 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and no more than two hours of recreational screen time.

In order to work towards achieving the 24-Hours Movement Guidelines with your child, it’s important to understand the meaning behind the different movement behaviours:

Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity: Also known as “heart-pumping” activities. These types of activities usually involve an increase in heart rate, body temperature, and sweating! Running for the bus, trying an obstacle course, playing sledge hockey, shooting hoops, going for a scooter ride, skateboarding, dancing or martial arts are all examples of moderate to vigorous physical activities!
Light Physical Activity: Activities/movements that do not cause your child to sweat or have shortness of breath. For example, walking the dog, stretching, personal hygiene activities, helping with chores, making a snow angel, or playing dress up.
Sleep: It is important that sleep is uninterrupted and involves consistent bed and wake-up times!
Recreational Screen Time: Time spent using devices with screens that are not for school, work, communicating or health. For example, playing video games or watching TV.

These meanings may differ for each child since everyone is unique! An activity for one child may require more effort than it does for another child with different abilities. That’s okay! What matters is that your child is participating in physical activity, no matter what the activity is! Here are five ways you can support this participation:

Provide your child with transportation to and from physical activity based-programs or opportunities
Be a role model by participating with your child in physical activities
Educate your child on the benefits of physical activity participation
Help encourage your child to set and reflect on their own physical activity goals
Promote unstructured play at home by setting up an obstacle course in the living room or playing in the snow outside

Learn more about the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines here!


Are you looking for resources during COVID-19?

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