Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour | Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour

General Resources

Lending Programs


Kits of 30 pedometers can be borrowed by community groups and workplaces for a maximum of six (6) weeks. The Pedometer Kit includes everything needed to run a program.

Urban Poles

Urban poling is a physical activity that combines walking with poles similar to ski poles. It can be done by people of any age at almost any level of fitness, and can be done outdoors anywhere at any time.

Urban Poling Kits are available for loan to community groups and workplaces.  The kit contains everything needed to start an urban poling program, including 10 pairs of urban poles for up to six (6) weeks.

For more information or to book a pedometer or urban pole kit, contact our Healthy Life Line.

Healthy Life Line

Residents of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties with questions about physical activity or local healthy eating programs and services can call our Healthy Life Line at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 610.  Your call will be returned by a Public Health professional.

Physical Activity for All Ages

Regular physical activity has many physical, emotional, cognitive (mind) and social benefits across the lifespan.  Now is the time to get up and and get moving!

Early Years (0 to 4 years)

As a parent, guardian or grandparent, you can make a big difference for the children in your life by giving them an early start in active play.  Give children lots of opportunities to play and experience different movement skills to help them develop physical literacy.  Check out Have a Ball and watch the 30 second video below to learn more about early physical literacy and to learn activities and games to get moving!



Daily Physical Activity

Physical activity is critical for healthy child development and sets the stage for physical activity behaviour later in life.  The early years are also considered the best time to develop physical literacy.
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for the Early Years recommend that infants (0 to 1 year) should be active several times per day, mainly through interactive, floor-based play.  Toddlers (1 to 2 years) and preschoolers (3 to 4 years) should accumulate at least 180 minutes of physical activity of any intensity.

Sedentary Behaviour

According to the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for the Early Years, the time that infants and preschoolers spend sedentary while awake (includes sitting or being restrained for more than 1 hour at a time) should be limited.  Screen time is not recommended for children under 2 years and should be limited to less than 1 hour per day for children aged 2 to 4.  Less is better.

As a parent or caregiver of a young child you play an important role in minimizing screen time, reducing the risks associated with screen time, being mindful about the use of screens as a family, and modelling healthy screen use.

Learn more about physical activity, physical literacy and sedentary behaviour:

Children and Youth (5 to 17 years)

Daily Movement

The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth (5 to 17 years) shows us what a healthy 24-hour period looks like and includes physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep recommendations.  Sleep, physical activity, and sedentary behaviour are closely inter-related.  Children who sleep better move more and those who move more sleep better!

Unfortunately, the majority of Canadian children and youth are not meeting the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines.  Children who meet the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines are more likely to:

  • Improve their health
  • Do better in school
  • Improve their fitness
  • Grow stronger
  • Have fun playing with friends
  • Feel happier
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Improve their self-confidence
  • Learn new skills
  • Decrease their chance of developing many chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes

Learn more about physical activity for children and youth:


Children and youth need the right balance throughout their day to help them learn, play and grow. This includes being physically active as well as other important factors including getting enough sleep, having healthy food and drinks and limiting time in front of screens. For more information, visit our 10-5-2-1-0 page.

Active Outdoor Play

Active outdoor play is beneficial for the healthy growth and development of children. When children play outside, they move more, sit less and play longer. It provides children with different opportunities to explore, experiment and develop new skills and abilities. Unfortunately, today's children play outside far less than their parents did

As children grow, parents and caregivers can allow them more freedom from direct supervision while they play outside.  To learn more about how and when to give your children independence from direct supervision outside, we invite you to review the following resources:

Learn more about active outdoor play:

Adults (18 to 64 years)

Physical activity has many physical, emotional, psychological and social benefits for adults.  It can reduce your risk of developing chronic disease and life longer.  Try to add physical activity to your daily routine and make it a part of your everyday life.  The more physical activity you do the greater the health benefits!

According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults, adults 18 to 64 years should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week.  Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity makes you sweat and breathe harder (i.e. brisk walking, jogging, bike riding, swimming).  Muscle and bone strengthening activities should be added on at least 2 days of the week.

Physical activity should be fun!  Although all exercise is physical activity, not all physical activity is exercise.  It is possible to live an active life and meet the Canadian Physical Activity guidelines with minimal exercise.  Try to find activities that are enjoyable for you, whether it be playing sports, doing housework, walking or dancing.

Learn more about physical activity for adults:

Older Adults (65+ years)

It's never too late to start being active!  Being physically active can allow you to be independent longer, decrease your risk of chronic disease and can help you to live longer.  To achieve health benefits and improve funtional abilities, adults aged 65 years and older should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.

Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity makes you sweat and breathe harder (i.e. brisk walking, jogging, bike riding, swimming).  It is also beneficial to add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups, at least 2 days per week.  Those with poor mobility should perform physical activities to enhance balance and prevent falls.

Physical activity can be safe at any age.  Speak with your health care provider if you are thinking about getting active.

Learn more about physical activity for older adults: