Adults following the guidelines can achieve health benefits including a lower risk of death, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, several cancers, and improved bone health. Specific to psychosocial health, participation in optimal levels of movement behaviours has been linked to improved anxiety, depression, dementia, cognition and quality of life.i,ii For adults 65+, they can also see a lower risk of falls and fall-related injuries.ii 

The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines focus on three core recommendations for adults, listed below. It is important to note that all types of movement matter, and a balance is required for best health.

  1. Move More: Add movement throughout your day, including a variety of types and intensities.  Aim to accumulate at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity, muscle strengthening activities at least twice a week, and several hours of light physical activities, including standing.i,ii Those 65+ should also include physical activities that challenge balance.ii
  2. Reduce Sedentary TimeLimit sedentary time to 8 hours or less per day including no more than 3 hours of recreational screen time and breaking up long periods of sitting where possible.i,ii
  3. Sleep Well: For those aged 18-64 set yourself up for 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep on a regular basis, and 7 to 8 hours for those 65+ years.  Consistent bed and wake up times are also key.i,ii

Replacing sedentary behaviour with additional physical activity and trading light physical activity for more moderate to vigorous physical activity, while preserving sufficient sleep, can provide greater health benefits.


“COVID-19 has given us a chance to take stock of what is most important in our lives, and for many that is our own health and the health of our loved ones,” says Elio Antunes, President and CEO of ParticipACTION. “A key driver to our overall health is incorporating movement of any type or intensity into our daily routines. Having a healthy day should be top of mind for all of us right now, and that means being active, reducing sedentary behaviour and getting a good night’s sleep.”

To learn more about the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults, visit For ideas and resources on how to get more active, visit and download the ParticipACTION app.