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
- 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,
- 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
- 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
- Screen time is not recommended for children under the age of
- 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 http://www.csep.ca/english/view.asp?x=804