Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

January 24, 2011 14:38 ET

Government of Canada Supports New Physical Activity Guidelines

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 24, 2011) - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today congratulated the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology on the development and release of new physical activity guidelines.

The new guidelines give Canadians basic information about the types, intensity and frequency of physical activity needed to promote good health. The guidelines reflect advances in exercise science and provide the recommended activity levels for health benefits. Based on three years of research, the new guidelines were developed by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology with the support of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

"We know that most Canadians aren't active enough," said Minister Aglukkaq. "The guidelines are an important step in providing up-to-date information about the physical activity Canadians need as part of a healthy lifestyle, and to help them get moving. We are pleased to have supported CSEP in reviewing the science and developing the guidelines." 

Physical activity plays an important role in the health, well-being and quality of life of Canadians, and helps to prevent chronic diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The new guidelines suggest 150 minutes (or 2.5 hours) of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity a week for adults 18 and over and 60 minutes a day for children and youth, ages 5 to 17, to achieve measurable health benefits.

"This may be the first generation of children not to live as long or be as healthy as their parents," said Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. David Butler-Jones. "We need to encourage our kids to get active and we need to set an example for them. If you are not achieving the level of physical activity suggested in the guidelines, do what you can and build up. If you already meet these guidelines, try to do more for even greater health benefits."

The Public Health Agency of Canada has updated its website with information that provides an easy-to-read interpretation of the physical activity guidelines and tips to incorporate physical activity into daily life. The Agency will continue to work with stakeholders to develop additional tools and resources to help Canadians become and stay physically active.

The Government of Canada is committed to helping Canadians make healthy choices. From funding community programs and research, to providing information and resources, and sharing best practices in health promotion and disease prevention, we work to promote healthier lifestyles for Canadians. We are also working with the provinces and territories to find ways to make the environments where Canadians live, learn, work and play more supportive of physical activity and healthy eating.

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Contact Information

  • Public Health Agency of Canada
    Media Relations
    Office of Leona Aglukkaq
    Minister of Health
    Jenny VanAlstyne