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Canadian Paediatric Society

How much for adolescents? (12-17 years)

Physical activity

Sedentary behaviour

Accumulate ≥ 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily, including:

  • Vigorous-intensity activities (≥ 3 days/week)
  • Activities that strengthen muscle and bone (≥ 3 days/week)

Minimize sedentary time:

  • Limit recreational screen time to no more than  2 hours a day
  • Limit sedentary (motorized) transport, sitting time, and time indoors 

Bit by bit, every health visit counts
Our experts talk about the role physicians play in helping children and teens maintain healthy, active lives.
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What being active means

How to increase 
physical activity

How to reduce
sedentary behaviour

Starting at 5 years, activities should be more intense:

Moderate-intensity physical activities include:
bike riding, playground activities, skateboarding, brisk walking, hiking, canoeing, baseball and softball. 

Vigorous-intensity physical activities include:
running, swimming, aerobics, basketball, vigorous dancing, ice or field hockey.

Activities that strengthen muscle and bone include: games like hopscotch, tag, and jumping rope; sports such as gymnastics, basketball, volleyball, tennis; push-ups; swinging on playground equipment or bars; climbing ropes, walls or trees; running.

  • Play active games (e.g., tag, jump rope)
  • Visit playground after school
  • Treasure hunt in a local outdoor space
  • Walk or sled in the park
  • “Puddle hop” on a rainy day
  • Increase active transportation to school                                                      
  • Set rules to limit after school screen time
  • Keep TVs and other screens out of bedrooms
  • Increase active transportation to school
  • Visit friends instead of texting
  • Walk family or neighbour’s dog
  • Stand up and move around after long periods of sitting

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Last updated: Jul 17 2015