Physical Activity

Only 35% of 5- to 17- year-olds are reaching their recommended physical activity levels as outlined in the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth. In addition, 51% of 5- to 17-year-olds are engaging in more screen time than is recommended by the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for recreational screen-based sedentary behaviours.

Why does this matter? It’s all about the brain + body equation. There are important connections between the health of the body and of the brain, connections that must be fostered in order for kids to reach their mental, emotional and intellectual potential.

For better brain health, all children and youth should be physically active on a regular basis. In addition to physical health benefits, physical activity also improves cognition, brain function and mental health.

2018 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

Physical Activity At School

Inspiring Movement: Play Well - Learn Well - Live Well

Government of Saskatchewan. 

Students who are physically active tend to perform better academically. Schools play an important role in encouraging active living. The policy framework and guidelines, Inspiring Movement: Play Well – Learn Well – Live Well (2010) is based on a Comprehensive School Community Health approach that promotes active living, including engaging students in healthy levels of daily physical activity. The document provides school divisions with the rationale for daily physical activity, some key understandings, a policy statement and the building blocks of physical activity in Saskatchewan. It also outlines the roles and responsibilities for ensuring daily physical activity and provides some assistance to those school divisions beginning their journey to promoting and establishing active schools.

Schools in motion

Active Saskatchewan. 

Schools and teachers, parents, guardians and community leaders have a significant influence on students' physical activity levels. The Schools in motion website includes resources, downloads and links to help teachers and students make physical activity a priority in the classroom. It has easy, fun and accessible ways to achieve at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.

Build Your Best Day!


An interactive web experience for children that allows them to Build Your Best Day. Kids imagine a day where they can do anything, while learning about the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. Great resources like fact sheets, posters and games are available for parents and educators to teach kids how to make every day their "Best Day."

Saskatchewan Physical Education Association

Saskatchewan Physical Education Association (SPEA). 

Provides loaner resources and online resources and materials on physical literacy to use with students.

Physical and Health Education

Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE). 

PHE Canada champions healthy, active kids by promoting and advancing quality health and physical education opportunities and healthy learning environments. Supporting community champions with quality programs, professional development services, and community activation initiatives, PHE Canada inspires all to live healthy, physically active lives.

Physical Activity Outside of School

Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP). 

These guidelines encourage Canadian children to "Sweat, Step, Sleep and Sit" the right amount of time in an average 24-hour day. Tools and resources are available to help with sleep, sedentary behaviours and physical activities that support their healthy development and promote an active lifestyle.

Let's Get Moving: A Common Vision for Increasing Physical Activity and Reducing Sedentary Living in Canada

Government of Canada. 

The Common Vision: Let's Get Moving has been developed for use by governments, schools, the private sector, researchers and non-government organizations. It addresses sedentary lifestyles and promotes physical activity in all its forms, types and levels of intensity through sport and recreation.

The Common Vision has been developed in four sections: 1) The current state of physical activity and sedentary behaviour among Canadians; 2) Five principles that guide all aspects of the Common Vision; 3) Six strategic actions for all organizations and leaders; and 4) What organizations, leaders and governments can do individually, and what everyone can do together.

Framework for Recreation in Canada

Canadian Parks and Recreation Association. 

The Framework identifies common ways to think of recreation in Canadian life, based on clear goals, standards and principles. The Framework has been endorsed by the Government of Canada; the Canadian, Provincial and Territorial Parks and Recreation Associations; and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The framework will assist communities, decision-makers, municipalities and the provincial government to: Encourage physical activity through recreation; Increase inclusion/access to recreation for individuals that face barriers; Connect people to nature through recreation; Create supportive physical/social environments to building strong, caring communities through recreation; and Ensure growth and sustainability through recreation. Also available in French.

After-School Time Period

Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA). 

The After-School Time Period (ASTP) is between 3 and 6 p.m. and has been recognized as a critical time for children and youth. Research shows an increase in youth physical inactivity, antisocial behaviour, screen time and poor eating habits during this time. The SPRA has developed an information directory for parents, schools, and communities on the sport, culture and recreational programs available in their area for young people during the ASTP. The website also includes research and reports, a resource centre, and additional resources on the ASTP.

Support youth and community well-being through the collaborative action of community partners working together. Through evidence, tools and resources, SAYCW supports stakeholders to turn the knowledge gained through the youth health survey into health promoting action.

Youth-focused Mental Health Action Report shines light on challenges and ignites movement for solutions
A new report released this week is bringing attention to mental health challenges faced by more than 10,000 youth across the province—and actions at the grassroots level to ignite change.

Read More

This report provides a brief review of the scientific literature on COVID-19 and its effects on youth health, with particular emphasis on mental health.  SAYCW shares relevant data from the pre-pandemic, 2019 SAYCW survey – these findings show how stressors and unhealthy behaviours that have been worsened by the pandemic (e.g., worry, connection with others, screen time, etc.) had impacted Saskatchewan youths’ health and well-being prior to the pandemic. Suggested health promotion actions to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and improve youth health and well-being are also shared.

Click here to read the report


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