Although most Canadians have the capacity to be physically active, most are predominantly inactive and sedentary—only 15 per cent of the adult population meets the Canadian Physical Activity Guideline of at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. These behaviours have been linked to many negative health outcomes including the development and worsening of chronic diseases, reduced quality of life, and premature mortality.
Interventions to reduce physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour will not be effective over the long term, or at a population level, if the environments in which most people live do not support healthier choices. People need to have opportunity, capability, and motivation to change from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one.
This briefing outlines the criteria that decision-makers can use when planning strategies and programs to promote physical activity and deter excessive sedentary behaviour.
Other Briefings in This Series
Are the Kids Alright? A 24-Hour Movement Guideline for Healthier Children and Youth (June 24, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. EST) given by Dr. Mark Tremblay.