Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Sleep (PASS) Indicators

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Average number of minutes per day adults are engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, aged 18-79 years, by age group (life-course), Canada, 2016-2017
0510152025303518-3435-4950-6465-79Age group — life-courseMinutes18-34: 30.8 minutes35-49: 27.8 minutes50-64: 25.1 minutes65-79: 14.8 minutesTotal population: 26.0 minutesLegend
Average number of minutes per day adults are engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, aged 18-79 years, by age group (life-course), Canada, 2016-2017
Age group — life-courseMinutes95% CI
Total population26.022.8 - 29.1
18-3430.825.3 - 36.4
35-4927.820.6 - 34.9
50-6425.120.1 - 30.2
65-7914.813.0 - 16.6

Notes: Current Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines call for adults are to accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week, obtained in bouts of 10 minutes or more.

Source: Canadian Health Measures Survey 2016-2017

Measure Description

DefinitionThis indicator provides the average number of minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) undertaken by Canadians. This indicator will monitor whether time spent engaged in MVPA is rising or falling, independent of whether physical activity guidelines are met. This indicator is based on accelerometer-measured physical activity.
Data SourceCanadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), Statistics Canada
PopulationPopulation aged 18 to 79 years
Data AvailableSex, age group (5 year, life course), highest level of education (household, respondent), household income, Indigenous (Aboriginal) status, immigrant status, and trend (age-standardized)
Estimate CalculationStatistics Canada derived variable AMMDMVA was used to calculate this indicator for adults aged 18+ years. AMMDMVA provides the average daily amount of time spent in MVPA. It was calculated by summing the time spent in MVPA on all valid days of accelerometer wear, and dividing by the number of valid days.
Additional RemarksPhysical activity can be measured both through objective methods, such as wearing an accelerometer or pedometer, and through self-reported information collected on a survey. Both methods have strengths and weaknesses. Historically, self-reported information on leisure time physical activity has been used to track the physical activity levels of adults in Canada. However, the inclusion of more sophisticated accelerometer technology on population health surveys, such as the CHMS, now allows for measurement of adherence in the same units as the guidelines.


Suggested Citation

Center for Surveillance and Applied Research, Public Health Agency of Canada. Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Sleep (PASS) Indicators Data Tool, 2020 Edition. Public Health Infobase. Ottawa (ON): Public Health Agency of Canada, 2020.

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