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Made any New Year’s resolutions? Here are some figures to motivate you

January 20, 2023, 11:06 a.m. (EST)

So… how are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? Is your motivation as strong as ever, or have you already given up on some? Far from pointing fingers, let’s take a look at data that might help explain some of our habits.

Exercise: Come on, let’s get moving!

For many of us, exercise often tops the list of our resolutions. Grey winter days and cocooning at home have turned us into sedentary creatures, so now we feel an urgent need to get moving, get back in shape and burn the extra pounds packed on after too many helpings of turkey and Christmas desserts!      

In 2021, adults 18 to 34 years were most likely (4,964,700) to report doing 150 minutes of physical activity per week, the recommended rate according to Canadian guidelines. They were followed by adults aged 35 to 49 (4,207,000), those aged 50 to 64 (4,188,300), and finally, adults 65 years and older (2,684,000).

If you spread 150 minutes of physical activity out over a week, you end up with about 20 minutes a day. That’s doable, right? To learn more about physical activity based on age, visit the portal here.

Healthy eating: Turn away from those treats

A few chips here, a couple of cookies there… Does this sound familiar? Many of us have given in to the temptation of treats a little too often, but it can be hard to resist some popcorn when you’re binge-watching your new favourite TV series.

Ultra-processed foods (UPF) are foods and beverages that are industrial formulations of mostly cheap sources of dietary energy, along with additives. These products are manufactured using a series of processes.

They now dominate the food supply in high-income nations, including Canada. UPF sales and consumption have been steadily rising in lower middle- and middle-income countries. In 2016, per capita sales of UPF were estimated at 275 kg per year in Canada, the fourth highest among 80 countries.

Nationally, UPF represented the largest share of total daily energy in both years (on average, 47.8% in 2004 and 45.7% in 2015), followed by unprocessed or minimally processed foods. Mean levels of UPF intake were highest among children and adolescents, representing more than 50% of their total daily energy intake in both years.

To give you an idea, 275 kg is the equivalent of 1,375 large bags (220 g) of potato chips.

Alcohol: In moderation, perhaps?

They say that moderation is always in good taste. That said, sometimes we can go overboard and drink heavily when we’re celebrating something like a birthday.

Heavy drinking refers to men who reported having had five drinks in one sitting, or women who reported having had four drinks in one sitting, at least once a month in the past year.

In 2021, adults aged 18 to 34 years were most likely (1,692,000) to report heavy drinking. In the 12-to-17 age group, 81,000 individuals reported heavy drinking.

Social media: Disconnecting a little

Nowadays, it’s hard to go without social media. However, using it too much can have adverse effects on our physical and mental health.

According to the Statistics Canada study “Canadians’ assessments of social media in their lives,” among all social media users aged 15 to 64, about one-fifth reported that in the previous 12 months, they had lost sleep (19%), done less physical activity (22%), or had trouble concentrating on tasks or activities (18%) as a result of their social media use. Around one in eight users (12% to 14%) reported feeling anxious or depressed, frustrated or angry, or envious of the lives of others.

How about you? Have you felt that way?

Expenses: It’s time to cut down

With the holiday season behind you, it’s time to take stock of your spending… yikes! Yup, inflation is affecting everyone.

In 2021, Canadian households spent $1,328 billion with the largest expenses going to housing, water, electricity, gas and other types of fuel ($343 billion) followed by transportation ($179 billion) and food and non-alcoholic beverages ($132 billion).

For more information on Canadian household spending, consult this table. You can even customize it by entering the province and reference period of your choice.

These are the five most common resolutions made to kick off every new year. We hope our data will inspire you to persevere and reach your goals, and we also hope they’re attainable! Wishing you a happy 2023!

Contact information

For more information, contact the Statistical Information Service (toll-free 1-800-263-1136514-283-8300; or Media Relations (