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Canada Physical Activity Guidelines Published

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Following the launch of the UK physical activity guidelines specifically for early years in July 2011, Canada has launched guidelines for the physical activity which under fours should do to benefit their health.
For healthy growth and development, the Canadian physical activity guidelines for the early years recommend:

  • Children under the age of one should be physically active several times daily – particularly through interactive, floor-based play. This should include supervised indoor and outdoor experiences such as tummy time, reaching and grasping, pushing and pulling, and crawling.
  • Children aged one to four should accumulate at least 180 minutes of physical activity at any intensity spread throughout the day. This should include a variety of activities in different environments where children can develop movement skills, such as climbing stairs, playing outside and exploring the environment, brisk walking, running or dancing.
  • By age five, children should progress towards at least 60 minutes of energetic play, such as hopping, skipping and bike riding.

As well as making recommendations for the physical activity which the under fours should be doing the guidelines incorporate recommendations on sedentary behaviour. The Canadian guidelines recommend:

  • Caregivers should limit prolonged sitting to no more than one hour at a time, for example, sitting or reclining in a stroller, high chair or car seat, and watching television or playing with non-active electronic devices like computers, video games or phones.
  • Screen time is not recommended for children under the age of two.
  • Screen time should be limited to less than one hour per day for children aged two to four.

The full guidelines can be found here