Transcript of the chat session on Physical activity of Canadian children and youth, which occurred on Monday, October 23, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST

Note: This was a bilingual chat session, which means that the participants were able to submit their questions in English or French. Statistics Canada respects the Official Languages Act and is committed to ensuring that information products of equal quality are available in both English and French. For that reason, all the questions and answers have been translated in the other official language.

 Moderator at 12:02:42
Welcome everyone! This is a bilingual chat session, which means that you can submit your questions in English or French. Our experts will respond in a timely manner and in the official language in which the question was asked.

 Katrina Joubert at 13:01:00
Hello, where do the questions used in the CHMS for children 3 to 11 years old come from (what is the source)?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:04:36
Some questions come from other Statistics Canada surveys. The original content is tested by a team of Statistics Canada specialists.

 Jane Pyper at 13:00:37
Where can I find the report?

 Rachel Colley at 13:04:47
The report can be found here. There is also an infographic here.

 kellyblair at 13:02:07
Is there a video link that introduces this report ? or helps my students access this content?

 Rachel Colley at 13:06:49
Unfortunately, we do not have a video summary of the report. This is a great idea for us to consider in the future! We do have an infographic that provides a nice overview of the new paper.

 kgosai at 13:02:26
Has there been work focused on physical activity levels and the physical literacy developed by children and youth?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:07:56
Hi, thanks for your question. Currently, we have nothing underway. However, physical literacy is a topic that is being explored for possible future content in the Canadian Health Measures Survey.

 Katrina Joubert at 13:04:26
Regarding physical activity

 Didier Garriguet at 13:08:01
The children wear an activity monitor for seven consecutive days. Some questions are asked, but the data on physical activity come from direct measures.

 cekwempe at 13:03:24
Will like to learn about our population (Erie St Clair). Especially given the high rates of obesity in our regions

 Rachel Colley at 13:08:56
Hi cekwempe,
Unfortunately, data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey is only at the national level. There is no breakdown by province or region. The Canadian Community Health Survey has self-reported data that is available by province.

 JSLATCHER at 13:04:25
Will there be an opportunity to access data from the report at smaller areas of geography, i.e. province, CMA or health region?

 Rachel Colley at 13:10:36
Hi there - this is a common question. Unfortunately, the Canadian Health Measures Survey is designed to provide national-level estimates only. Another Statistics Canada Survey (Canadian Community Health Survey) does provide estimates at the provincial and regional level.

 KatieRoth at 13:07:34
Where can we download the data?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:12:53
Hi KatieRoth, unfortunately the Canadian Health Measures Survey data are not publically available. The data are available through Statistics Canada's Research Data Centres Program.

 cchampio at 13:07:39
Question regarding how these two stats relate: In the 2016 ParticipACTION report card, they cite the 2012-2013 CHMS data "Only 9% of Canadian kids aged 5 to 17 get the 60 minutes of heart-pumping activity they need each day". According to the latest results from CHMS, it reads 33% of kids are meeting the physical activity recommendations (according to the first picture in the infographic). Thank you!

 Didier Garriguet at 13:14:51
Very good question cchampio. Although the recommendations for 60 minutes of physical activity per day didn't change, authors of the recommendations are now using an operational definition of weekly average instead of every day. Weekly average will be higher, since as soon as you miss a day, you won't meet the every day definition. We do reports on both values in the most recent articles: 33% have an average of 60 minutes per day for the week, 7% are meeting the recommendations every day. In both cases, the trend hasn't change in the last decade.

 dnaiman at 13:05:50
Hi, thanks for your work on this report! After reading the report I'm wondering what the overall recommendations are for future reporting on "% of children meeting PA guidelines"; Do you think this will continue to be measured as 6 or 7 days of 60 min/d in the last week, weekly average above 60 min/d, or both?

 Rachel Colley at 13:16:08
Hi - great question. The new 24-Hour Movement Guidelines that were released in 2016 suggested changing the interpretation of the physical activity recommendation of 60 minutes per day. In the past, a more strict interpretation was used where kids had to accumulate 60 minutes on 6 out of 7 days. The new approach classifies kids as meeting the recommendation if their average daily MVPA is ≥ 60 minutes. The new paper was meant to examine this issue closely and highlight the utility of looking at the data from several different angles.

 parasportns at 13:09:31
Where can I find stats for children with a disability and their activity levels please?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:18:17
Hi, there is nothing currently available from the Canadian Health Measures Survey because of its small sample size. However, there are some statistics presented from other data sources in the Partipaction Report Card.

 drdave at 13:07:23
Are there any stakeholders utilising this information to improve the statistics? Health Canada? Provincial Health & Long Term Care? Ministry of Education? Ministry of Health? etc. What is the action step now that this information is known?

 Rachel Colley at 13:18:29
The Canadian Health Measures Survey provides ongoing statistics on many health behaviours and outcomes of Canadians. This information is valuable to various stakeholders working to develop policy and programs.

 Katrina Joubert at 13:09:21
I would like to know the exact source of the questions on physical activity among children aged 6 to 11 years in the CHMS, because I did not find them in the CCHS or in the "future CHSCY". Do you have a document that could guide me?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:19:10
To determine whether children are active, we use data collected with the accelerometer, an activity monitor worn around the waist.

 NutriMan at 13:09:49
Will the Federal Gov't encourage greater Physical Activity participation in elementary and high schools across Canada by partnering with Provincial Ministries of Education ? If so, how and when will Health Professionals / Academics and the Public be informed ?

 Moderator / Modérateur at 13:19:17
Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, we are not mandated to answer questions related to policies/programs. We suggest contacting Health Canada.

 jyessis at 13:10:34
Do you measure physical activity using objective measures? How do you account for times when the device may be taken off?

 Rachel Colley at 13:20:50
Yes, physical activity is measured in the Canadian Health Measures Survey using accelerometers. Participants wear the devices for one week. The data are blind to participants and are downloaded after being returned to Statistics Canada. Yes, the time when monitors are removed is accounted for in the analysis. Any period greater than 60 minutes is investigated as possible non wear time.

 tarbuckl at 13:12:55
Any news on the Actigraph being used in subsequent cycles of the CHMS?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:21:48
Hi tarbuckl, thanks for your question. The Canadian Health Measures Survey team is currently exploring the feasibility of using the Actigraph for future cycles, possibly for cycle 7 (2020).

 Katrina Joubert at 13:09:27
Are the questions on the number of days, over the last seven days, that a child has been "physically active" asked to the children themselves?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:21:50
In addition to the accelerometer, we ask parents certain questions on the time spent in front of a screen and playing sports, or taking organized or unorganized lessons, whether at school or not. Children less than 12 years of age are not asked any questions.

 KARINE at 13:11:20
Hi, Were you able to determine the top reason why children are not meeting the PA deadline?

 Rachel Colley at 13:23:58
Hi KARINE. This paper is focused on the surveillance statistics only and doesn't get into reasons explaining the current levels. You may be interested in some recent papers that get at factors related to physical activity in children: parents, organized activities and outdoor time.

 LindseyPartridge at 13:16:14
Can you explain better "Time Outside - 60 minutes outdoors = +7min to a child's average daily physical activity" Does this mean that for every 60 minutes a child is outdoors it only counts towards 7min of mod/vig PA? In which case a child would have to be outside for several hours to accumulate the total of 60 min. PS from an injury prevention view point the info graphic shows kids riding bikes without helmets, but otherwise looks very fun.

 Didier Garriguet at 13:25:28
Good question LindseyPartridge. We looked at the relationship between time spent outside and physical activity. This means that for every extra 60 minutes spent outside, physical activity is 7 minutes higher than the average. If the average was 60 minutes, spending an extra 60 minutes will bring it up to 67 minutes, or an added 10%.

 Jane Pyper at 13:15:19
The second page of the infographic reports on factors associated with increasing children's activity levels, such as parental activity levels and time outdoors. Were there additional factors identified beyond those in the infographic? Where can we find more information on these factors?

 Rachel Colley at 13:26:41
Hi Jane,
There are many variables that can influence children's activity levels. In the infographic, we included the factors that were identified in our recently published Health Reports papers. Here are the links to the two papers that discuss those factors.
Parent-Child association in physical activity and sedentary behaviour
Outdoor time, physical activity, sedentary time, and health indicators at ages 7 to 14: 2012/2013 Canadian Health Measures Survey

 lbrunton at 13:11:28
Are there any additional sub-populations that can/will be analyzed - i.e. children with disabilities?

 Rachel Colley at 13:27:02
Non-ambulatory children were excluded from the accelerometer portion of the survey. They were captured in the physical activity questionnaire portion of the survey. These results are likely to be published in 2018. We often lack the sample size required to publish results for specific sub-groups beyond age group and sex.

 Lucie Lapierre at 13:18:30
Can we compare ourselves with other industrialized countries? If so, can you suggest any links on the Web?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:28:00
Good question. We have not done any comparisons with other countries recently. The United States have comparable data, but nothing has been published since 2005/2006.

 ken.leang at 13:25:08
Hi, will this chat/conversation be archived, so we can access this at a later time?

 Moderator / Modérateur at 13:29:18
Hi @ken.leang, thank you for your question. The transcript of this chat session will be available shortly on our website here.

 Katrina Joubert at 13:20:10
Quick comment: I regularly consult the work you do on physical activity based on your surveys. Your study on the link between a parent's physical activity and a child's physical activity was quite interesting. This is certainly an aspect to look into for stakeholders in the field…

 Didier Garriguet at 13:29:52
Thank you very much, Katrina Joubert. It is indeed an in-depth source of data to explore.

 sprincew at 13:17:56
Hi Rachel and Didier, Excellent paper and breakdown of physical activity via different interpretation of the 60 minutes/day guidelines. I can appreciate that accelerometers overcome many of the limitations of self-report methods, but recognize that they also carry their own limitations. I'm wondering if you can comment on how often the children reported removing the monitors for activities such as swimming which I assume may contribute to total MVPA in many cases? Do you have access to wear-time logs for the respondents?

 Rachel Colley at 13:30:44
Hi sprincew - We tried wear time logs in Cycle 1 of the CHMS with little success. The lack of clarity on what the non wear time represents is a noted limitation of this measurement. It is something that can be managed in smaller surveys but is difficult within the context of large population health surveys.

 Catherine Droesbeck at 13:13:10
Thank you for the report and being available for questions. Was the data divided into income level or rural/urban splits? We are focusing our work on equity and any insight would be helpful.

 Didier Garriguet at 13:31:06
Hi Catherine,
There are not currently any results published by income level or by urban/rural splits.
However, in the article "Physical activity of Canadian children and youth" income was included as a covariate in the regression analysis.
The sample size of the Canadian Health Measures Survey does not allow for results to be published by urban/rural split.

 neils at 13:21:49
Thanks for the paper and for this discussion. Methodology question: does MPVA only get counted if it occurs in a minimum 10-minute block?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:32:12
Thanks for the question. For children, every minute counts. For adults, activity needs to be cumulated in 10-minute blocks.

 Diane Hache at 13:18:07
Would there be any data anywhere on : The number/percentage of children participating in organized leisure or sports activities, with an indication of whether they are in rural or urban areas?

 Rachel Colley at 13:33:42
Thanks for your question, Diane. We do not currently have data with an urban rural breakdown of children's participation in organized sports and activities. However, Statistics Canada is working toward improving our collection of data on rural-urban differences.

 lvanderloo at 13:18:15
Hi Rachel and Didier - wondering if you are able to comment on why this recent report suggests that 37.6% of children are meeting the PA guidelines? (tweeted by PHAC today). This is different from what your two papers reported, so unsure why there would be conflicting numbers? Any clarity would be appreciated. Thanks to you both. Towards a Healthier Canada – Infographic

 Rachel Colley at 13:35:06
Hi - good catch on the conflicting numbers. I had a look and think that the difference may be due to a slightly different age range in that statistic. They are reporting cycle 4 only age 5 to 17.

 Heather_D at 13:30:00
I was hoping to see more focus on total daily activity going forward from the 24-hour integrated guidelines, but the infographic defines physical activity solely as MVPA. Is there comparable data for light PA associated with those factors, and/or does the data allow for more assessment of the quality of the light Pa, especially for the youngest children?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:37:16
Good question Heather D. The infographics focused on physical activity, particularly MVPA, since recommendations use MVPA. We can however report on light or even sedentary time. For children aged 3 and 4, previous reports showed total physical activity. Here is the link.

 Martin Nadon at 13:19:43
Hi Experts! Any reports available for the 0-6 age range? We are finding that the children in my area are not "on track" in Gross and Fine Motor skills upon entering kindergarten. Any direction would be great. Thanks.

 Rachel Colley at 13:37:33
Thanks for your question, mnadon. We do have a recent report on the physical activity levels of preschool children aged 3 to 5. Here is a link to that article: Physical activity and sedentary behaviour of Canadian children aged 3 to 5

 Katrina Joubert at 13:31:13
In your questions/measures on physical activity, you sometimes refer to a moderate-to-vigorous level of physical activity, and other times, an activity that causes you to sweat at least a little and breathe harder… Can these be considered similar?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:40:51
Yes. "Moderate-to-vigorous" physical activity is for measured data. "Sweat at least a little and breathe harder" is for self-reported data.

 lgodin at 13:35:14
Challenge (self-report vs measured) - Measured data at a federal level is able to capture energy expenditure across the continuum and can determine SB, LPA, MPA, and VPA. At the local /municipal level, self-report (context) appears to be the only option - the only option used. It makes using the measured data to build a business case for local level challenging.

 Rachel Colley at 13:41:16
Hi lgodin - you have touched on a very challenging situation that we continue to grapple with. We are currently working on examining how to better use self-reported and objectively measured data in a complementary way. Look for papers in 2018 that examine the relationship between accelerometer-measured and questionnaire-based methods. The current questionnaire module used in the CHMS is also being used in the CCHS (a survey that enables regional/provincial breakdown).The accelerometer-measured data provide a population-level picture of overall levels while the self-reported information is great for telling us more about the context of participation - how, when and why Canadians are active.

 Katrina Joubert at 13:32:11
Is it possible to analyze the data at the provincial level (via an RDC)?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:43:46
The objective of the Canadian Health Measures Survey is to collect information on the health and lifestyles of the Canadian population at the national level. However, estimates at the provincial level are permitted in certain cases (for example, Ontario or Quebec) by combining several data cycles.

 sprincew at 13:36:42
With respect to the 24 hour movement guidelines, did you look or will you explore the proportion of the day those children/youth who did not meet the MVPA guidelines spent in light intensity physical activity (LIPA) and sedentary time? I'd be curious to see if they didn't achieve MVPA guidelines, but spent a large proportion of the day engaged in LIPA vs. sedentary time and the possible health benefits associated with a large amount of this lower intensity movement pattern.

 Rachel Colley at 13:44:19
You have raised some very important topics. The other paper released last week (by Karen Roberts and colleagues) touches on sleep and screen time. Future work from Statistics Canada will look into the 24-hour period in more detail, including light intensity movement and sedentary time.

 Katrina Joubert at 13:38:50
Going back to the activity monitor, so will we be able to compare the "physically active" indicators among children from the CHSC with indicators of the future CHSCY (being a new potential source of data for 6- to 11-year-olds)?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:44:38
The future CHSCY is currently testing the use of pedometers. They will be able to count the number of steps. We also have the number of steps in the CHMS so, in theory, if the pedometer is the final choice, we will be able to compare some data.

 Katrina Joubert at 13:43:25
I noticed the following question in the CHMS questionnaire: "About how many hours a week do you usually take part in physical activity that makes you out of breath or warmer than usual: in your free time at school, in your class time at school, outside of school when participating in league or team sports, and outside of school while participating in unorganized activities? Is this question asked to parents of children between the ages of 6 and 11?

 Didier Garriguet at 13:47:36
No, these questions were asked to children aged 12 to 17 years. In the future, we will compare their responses with the measured data because these questions were also asked to youth in the 2015 and 2016 CCHS.

 Katrina Joubert at 13:52:29
Thank you very much for all your answers, Didier. We look forward to seeing your future work.

 Didier Garriguet at 13:54:15
Thank you very much for participating in this chat session.

 LindseyPartridge at 13:51:02
How can a child being outside for 60min only bring up their average PA by 7min? Are you saying that when kids are outside they are only active for 7min out of the 60? or you're saying it boosts their weekly average by that much?

 Rachel Colley at 13:55:32
Hi. The result you are seeing on the infographic is from Richard Larouche's paper. This is the result of a regression analysis and tells us that for every additional hour a child reports being outside we can expect their average daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity to be 7 minutes higher when compared to a child not reporting that same amount of outdoor time.

 Heather_D at 13:59:03
Thank you both.

 Moderator at 13:20:36
Our experts are working hard to answer your questions. Thank you for your patience!

 Moderator at 13:39:45
Time for one last question, or two! Keep them coming!

 sprincew at 13:52:54
GPB - I see in table3 that 29% of kids get at least 75 minutes of MVPA on at least 3 or more days in cycle 4. Could you comment on the proportion of kids who are meeting the guidelines with regular activity through the week, vs. those who achieve them through intense activity over a few days (i.e. 210 minutes on 2 days and still meet the guidelines)?

 Didier Garriguet at 14:00:26
This is a good question. A lot of combinations are possible (for example the "weekend warrior" who is very active on only 1-2 days per week), but what we see is that in general, being active 60 minutes on average is similar to accumulating at least 60 minutes on 4 out of 7 days.

 Katrina Joubert at 13:54:46
To have an accurate portrait of the population's level of physical activity, do you think physical activities practised by youth during physical education classes should be excluded? The activity monitor certainly does not make this distinction.

 Didier Garriguet at 14:02:07
The recommendations are 60 minutes per day, regardless of the context, be it at home or at school. Every minute counts.

 Moderator at 13:42:08
The chat session is now over. Thank you for your questions and comments! If our experts did not have a chance to respond to your question, we will follow-up with you by email in the next few business days. The full transcript of this chat session will be made available on our website shortly. Have comments or feedback about our Chat with an Expert events? Email us at Have a great day!

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