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Snapshot of the Situation

Young people are less and less active

Children and adolescents should engage in physical activity of medium to high intensity for at least 60 minutes per day [1]. However, many are sedentary both in their leisure time and in transit.

Generally speaking, young boys are more active than young girls and the level of physical activity tends to diminish with age [2]. Girls who practise no sport at age 10 have no more than a 10% chance of being active at age 25 [3].

In Quebec:
  • In 2010-2011, about 30% of Quebec high school students did not meet the recommended level of 60 minutes of physical activity per day [4].
    • Only 16% of students were sufficiently active in their free time, at home, at school or elsewhere.
    • Almost 60% of students did not engage in active transportation during the school year.
  • It has been observed that 1/3 of young people give up practising sports when they enter adolescence [5].
In Canada:
  • In 2007-2009, only 7% of Canadian youth reached 60 minutes of physical activity per day [6]:
    • 9% of boys
    • 4% of girls
  • Among young people, more than 8 hours per day are devoted to sedentary activities, that is, 62% of their wake time [7].
  • Among 15- to 19-year-olds, the time devoted to sedentary activities exceeds 9 hours per day [8].
Would you like to discuss this topic with us?

Contact Corinne Voyer, Director:


[1] & [2] Comité scientifique de Kino-Québec (2011). L’activité physique, le sport et les jeunes – Savoir et agir. Québec : Secrétariat au loisir et au sport, ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport. Gouvernement du Québec.

[3] Égale Action (2004). Publications - Statistiques. Consulted on September 13, 2012.

[4] Institut de la statistique du Québec (2012). L’Enquête québécoise sur la santé des jeunes du secondaire 2010-2011 – Tome 1. Québec : Gouvernement du Québec. Consulted on October 22, 2012.

[5] Lemieux, M. & Thibault, G. (2011). L’Activité physique, le sport et les jeunes – Savoir et agir. Observatoire québécois du loisir, 9 (7). Consulted on November 23, 2012.

[6] Active Healthy Kids Canada (2012). Is Active Play Extinct? Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. Ontario, Toronto: Active Healthy Kids Canada. Consulted on January 14, 2013.

[7 ]& [8] Colley, R. C., Garriguet, D., Janssen, I., Craig, C. L., Clarke, J. & Tremblay, M. S. (2011). Physical activity of Canadian children and youth: Accelerometer results from the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. (Publication no 82-003-XPF). Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 

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