Sedentary Behaviours

Reference citations for all information below can be found in the complete long-form Report Card



Quick Stats

Recommendations for Action

Screen-Based Sedentaty Behaviours
















  • Children and youth get an average of 7 hours and 48 minutes of screen time per day.
  • Only 19% of kids aged 10-16 report meeting the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines, which recommend no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time per day.
  • 10- to 16-year-olds in Canada get an average of 6 hours and 37 minutes of screen time per day. The largest source of screen time is television (2 hours and 39 min) followed by computers (2 hours and 7 min) and video games (1 hour and 51 min).
  • There is a need to increase awareness of the recently released Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines and of the ill health effects of excessive amounts of sedentary behaviour.
  • Parents should implement household rules on screen time and provide alternative opportunities for active play, sport and physical activity participation.
  • Children and youth need to be encouraged to interrupt their sedentary behaviours. Parents can suggest that after every hour kids spend sitting, whether doing homework or playing video games, they should get up and move – even if only for a short bit of time.





Non-Screen Sedentary Behaviours
















  • Although it is difficult to separate out non-screen behaviours, kids under age 6 spend 73-84% of their waking hours sedentary, and kids aged 6-19 spend 62% of their free time (after school and weekends) sedentary.
  • Numerous studies suggest that high levels of sedentary behaviour increase health risks in kids regardless of how active they are.








Recommended Ways of Reducing Sedentary Behaviour in Children (Top) and Youth (Bottom) (Source: CSEP)