Physical activity during leisure time, 2014

The health benefits of physical activity include a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, stress and anxiety.Note 1

In 2014, 53.7% of Canadians aged 12 and older (15.9 million people) reported they were at least ‘moderately active’Note 2 during their leisure time - energy expended at work, in transportation or doing housework is excluded. ‘Moderately active’ would be equivalent to walking at least 30 minutes a day or taking an hour-long exercise class at least three times a week.

The most popular leisure-time activity was walking: 70.9% reported walking during leisure time in the past three months. Gardening, home exercise, jogging or running, swimming, and bicycling were also popular.

From 2001 to 2014, males were more likely than females to be at least moderately active. In 2014, 56.5% of males reported that they were at least moderately active during leisure time, about the same as 2013 but up from 54.9% in 2010. The proportion of females who were at least moderately active in 2014 was 51.0%, lower than 2013, but about the same as 2012 (Chart 1).

Chart 1

Description for chart 1

Canadians aged 12 to 19 had the highest rate of being at least moderately active (75.5% for males and 65.1% for females in this age group).

Between the ages of 35 and 64, about 51% of females were at least moderately active. At age 65 or older, the rate dropped to 43.0%. The percentage of males that were at least moderately active decreased with age up to age 35. Above age 35, the rate of activity for males was around 51% (Chart 2).

Chart 2

Description for chart 2

The proportion of residents who were at least moderately active was lower than the national average (53.7%) in:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador (48.3%)
  • Prince Edward Island (49.2%)
  • New Brunswick (49.2%)
  • Quebec (50.7%)
  • Nunavut (39.7%)

The proportion of residents who were at least moderately active was higher than the national average in:

  • Alberta (57.0%)
  • British Columbia (61.7%)
  • Yukon (64.6%)

Residents of the other provinces and in the Northwest Territories reported rates that were about the same as the national average.

Notes

References

Gilmour, Heather. 2007. “Physically active Canadians.” Health Reports. Vol. 18, no. 3. August. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 45–65. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2006008/article/phys/10307-eng.pdf.

Shields, Margot, Tremblay, Mark S. 2008. “Screen time among Canadian adults: A profile.” Health Reports. Vol. 19, no. 2. June. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/olc-cel?lang=eng&catno=82-003-X200800210600.

Shields, Margot, Tremblay. Mark S. 2008. “Sedentary behaviour and obesity among Canadian adults.” Health Reports. Vol. 19, no. 2. June. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/olc-cel?lang=eng&catno=82-003-X200800210599.

Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501.

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