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Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep (PASS): a new way of tracking healthy daily activity Published: ()

We live our days on a 24 hour cycle. Most of that time is spent in intervals of physical activity, sedentary behaviour (like sitting and screen time) and sleeping. As such, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recognized that it needed to modernize how it monitors the physical activity levels of Canadians. So we expanded the scope of our surveillance to include all intensities of daily activity. As a result, we developed a list of key indicators that highlight the different components of daily activity and organized them in a framework called the Physical Activity, Sedentary behaviour and Sleep (PASS) Indicator Framework. Reporting on a range of indicators gives a much clearer picture of how active Canadians really are and provides Canadians and health professionals with the information needed to develop effective policies and programs for a healthy and active population.


22%

Only 22.2% of Canadian adults get the recommended amount of weekly physical activity.

Canadians adults aged 18 and older should accumulate 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more, in order to achieve optimum health benefits and protection against chronic disease. One way to do this would be to obtain 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. [Physical Activity Guidelines]

10 hours/day

On average, Canadian adults spend 9.8 hours of their daily waking hours being sedentary.

Activities that require very little movement, that involve sitting or reclining, are called sedentary behaviours. Common sedentary behaviours include watching TV, sitting at a desk or driving in an automobile. Research shows that sedentary behaviour is associated with chronic disease and other poor health outcomes. [Physical Activity Guidelines]

7 hours/night

Canadians adults get an average of 7.1 hours of sleep each night.

Sleep is critical for human life and vital for brain functions. The amount of sleep an individual obtains has been associated with various health outcomes, including chronic diseases and increased chance of death. [Physical Activity Guidelines]


It isn’t enough to track high level statistics. Canadians are active at home, at work and in their communities. Monitoring physical activity and sedentary behaviour in specific environments gives us a clearer picture of what is going on.

1 in 5

21.5% of Canadian adults report walking or cycling to work or school at least occasionally.

Using active modes of transportation, such as walking or cycling, provides an important opportunity for Canadians to be active and increase their overall level of physical activity. [Physical Activity Guidelines]

1992 vs 2010

In 1992, 45% of Canadians 15 and older participated in sports. In 2010, that participation rate had dropped to 26%.

Using free time to participate in sports has a positive impact on the overall level of physical activity for Canadians of all ages. [Physical Activity Guidelines]

24 hrs/week

Canadian adults report that they accumulate 23.6 hours of screen-time each week during leisure time. Activities like watching television or videos, spending time on the computer and playing video games are considered ‘screen-time’. [Physical Activity Guidelines]


The PASS Indicator Framework recognizes that some broader factors, like family relationships and societal norms, as well as how communities are built (for example, bike lanes and access to parks), all have an impact on a person’s daily activities.

$0 or low cost

78% of Canadians report free or low-cost recreation facilities in their neighbourhood.

Having accessible facilities (in terms of location and cost) helps increase the physical activity of Canadians. [Physical Activity Guidelines]

44%

44.4 % of Canadian adults reported their workplaces had showers.

Showers and change rooms at work support active transportation (like biking, walking/running to work) and physical activity during breaks. They allow people to change between work and work-out clothing. [Physical Activity Guidelines]


In addition to the indicators above, new indicators will be released as appropriate data sources are identified, such as:

The PASS Indicator Framework is intended to support a more comprehensive surveillance of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep in Canada, and will become the foundation for surveillance reporting and data development in these areas. Adapting existing data sources or developing new sources of information and measurement tools will be important to fill data gaps and improve our reporting. The information provided by the PASS Indicator Framework will inform programs and policies to improve the health of Canadians.


Dive Into the Data

Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Sleep (PASS) Indicators

Adults (Aged 18+)
Physical Activity
Indicator Group Indicator(s) Measure(s) Data Source
Individual Physical activity guideline adherence % of adults aged 18 to 79 years who meet physical activity guidelines by accumulating at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more CHMS
Individual Total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity amount Average number of minutes per day adults aged 18 to 79 years are engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity CHMS
Individual Occupational physical activity and active chores amount Average number of hours per week adults report doing physical activities while at work, in or around their home or while volunteering CCHS
Individual Leisure time physical activity amount Average number of hours per week adults report doing sports, fitness or recreational physical activities, organized or non-organized, that lasted a minimum of 10 continuous minutes CCHS
Individual Sports participation amount % of population aged 15 or older who reported regularly participating in any sports during the past 12 months. GSS
Individual Active travel amount % of adults who report walking or cycling to work or school CCHS
Individual Average number of hours per week adults report using active ways like walking or cycling to get to places CCHS
Individual Intention level % of adults who, when thinking about the next six months, intend to be physically active PAM
Individual Enjoyment level % of adults who report that physical activity is generally pleasant PAM
Individual Confidence level % of adults who report they are confident that they could regularly do a total of 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity three or four times a week PAM
Individual Physical literacy In Development -
Individual Physical health status % of adults who report their health is “very good” or “excellent” CCHS
Individual Mental health status % of adults who report their mental health is “very good” or “excellent” CCHS
Family/Social Environment Level of peer and spousal support In Development -
Family/Social Environment Community norms In Development -
Family/Social Environment Presence and type of barriers for physical activity In Development -
Built/Society Environment Community walkability In Development -
Built/Society Environment Presence of parks and recreation facilities % of adults who "somewhat agree" or "strongly agree" that their neighbourhood has several free or low cost recreation facilities, such as parks, walking trails, bike paths, recreation centres, playgrounds, public swimming pools, etc CCHS RR
Built/Society Environment Presence of active transport infrastructure % of adults who report their community has infrastructure that supports walking or biking (well-maintained sidewalks or designated areas for biking) CCHS RR
Built/Society Environment Shower access at work % of adults aged 18 to 75 who report having access to showers or change rooms at or near work CCHS
Built/Society Environment Community spending on sports and recreation programs In Development -
Built/Society Environment Community spending on active transportation plans In Development -
Sedentary Behaviour
Indicator Group Indicator(s) Measure(s) Data Source
Individual Total sedentary time amount Average number of hours per day spent sedentary, excluding sleep time, population aged 18 to 79 years CHMS
Individual Recreational screen time amount Average number of hours per week adults aged 18 to 79 years report spending on a computer or tablet, e.g. watching videos, playing computer games, emailing or surfing the internet CHMS
Individual Workplace sedentary time amount In Development -
Individual Non-active travel amount In Development -
Individual Awareness level In Development -
Family/Social Environment Presence and type of barriers for reducing sedentary behaviour In Development -
Family/Social Environment Work sedentary behaviour norms In Development -
Built/Society Environment Supportive work policies In Development -
Sleep
Indicator Group Indicator(s) Measure(s) Data Source
Individual Nighttime sleep amount Average number of hours adults aged 18 to 79 years report sleeping in a 24-hour period CHMS
Individual Awareness about sleep benefits In Development -
Individual Sleep quality – Sleep continuity % of adults aged 18 to 79 years who report having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep “most of the time” or “all of the time” CHMS
Individual Sleep quality – Sleep efficiency In Development -
Individual Sleep hygiene – Sleep timing In Development -
Individual Sleep hygiene – Stress In Development -
Individual Sleep hygiene – Physical activity In Development -
Individual Sleep hygiene – Caffeinated beverage consumption In Development -
Family/Social Environment Sleep routines In Development -
Built/Society Environment Presence and type of barriers for sleep In Development -
Built/Society Environment Electronic media in the bedroom In Development -
Built/Society Environment Nocturnal environment noise In Development -
Children (Aged 5-11) and Youth (Aged 12-17)
Physical Activity
Indicator Group Indicator(s) Measure(s) Data Source
Individual Physical activity recommendation adherence % of children and youth who meet physical activity recommendations by accumulating at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day CHMS
Individual Total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity amount Average number of minutes per day children and youth are engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity CHMS
Individual 24-hour movement % of children and youth who meet the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth CHMS
Individual School physical activity amount Average number of hours per week youth in Grades 6 to 10 report taking part in physical activity that makes them out of breath or warmer than usual during class time at school HBSC
Individual Average number of hours per week that parents report children spend doing physical activity during class time CHMS
Individual Sports participation amount (leisure time) % of Canadian parents who report that their children participated in sports in the last 12 months PAM
Individual Active play amount (leisure time) % of children who accumulate 3 hours or less per week of active play (unstructured physical activity) outside of school CHMS
Individual Active travel amount % of youth who report walking or cycling to work or school CCHS
Individual Average amount of hours per week youth report using active ways like walking or cycling to get to places CCHS
Individual Intention level In Development -
Individual Enjoyment level % of youth who report they enjoy being physically active In Development
Individual Confidence level % of youth who report they are confident in their ability to be physically active In Development
Individual Physical literacy In Development -
Individual Physical health status % of youth who report their health is “very good” or “excellent” CCHS
Individual % of parents who report the health of their child is “very good” or “excellent” CHMS
Individual Mental health status % of youth who report their mental health is “very good” or “excellent” CHMS
Individual % of parents who report their child’s mental health is “very good” or “excellent” In Development
Family/Social Environment Level of parental support % of Canadian parents who report “often” or “very often” playing active games with their children in the past year PAM
Family/Social Environment Level of peer support % of youth in Grades 9 and 10 who report that most of their friends “often” participate in organized sports activities with others HBSC
Built/Society Environment Perceived distance to school In Development -
Built/Society Environment Level of community safety % of Canadian parents who identify safety concerns as a barrier to children’s physical activity PAM
Built/Society Environment Community walkability In Development -
Built/Society Environment Presence of parks and recreation facilities % of youth who “somewhat agree” or “strongly agree” that their neighbourhood has several free or low cost recreation facilities, such as parks, walking trails, bike paths, recreation centers, playgrounds, public swimming pools, etc. CCHS RR
Built/Society Environment Presence of active transport infrastructure In Development -
Built/Society Environment Supportive policies at school % of schools that have a committee that oversees policies and practices concerning physical activity (eg., health action team) HBSC (Admin)
Built/Society Environment Community spending on sports and recreation programs In Development -
Built/Society Environment Community spending on active transportation plans In Development -
Sedentary Behaviour
Indicator Group Indicator(s) Measure(s) Data Source
Individual Sedentary behaviour recommendation adherence % of children and youth who report meeting sedentary behaviour recommendations by spending 2 hours or less per day watching television or using a computer during leisure-time CHMS
Individual Amount of sedentary time Average number of hours per day children and youth spend sedentary, excluding sleep time CHMS
Individual Recreational screen time amount Average number of hours per week youth report spending on a computer or tablet, e.g. watching videos, playing computer games, emailing or surfing the internet CHMS
Individual Sedentary time at school In Development -
Individual Non-active travel amount In Development -
Individual Time spent outdoors Average number of hours per day children spend outside CHMS
Family/Social Environment Parental awareness level In Development -
Family/Social Environment Home screen time rules In Development -
Built/Society Environment Presence and access to electronic media In Development -
Sleep
Indicator Group Indicator(s) Measure(s) Data Source
Individual Sleep recommendation adherence % of children and youth who report meeting sleep recommendations by obtaining adequate sleep: 9-11 hours per night for ages 5-13 and 8-10 hours per night for ages 14-17 CHMS
Individual Amount of sleep in 24-hour period Average number of hours children and youth report sleeping in a 24-hour period CHMS
Individual Daytime napping amount (5 years and under) In Development -
Individual Nighttime sleep amount In Development -
Individual Sleep quality – Sleep continuity % of children and youth who report having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep “most of the time” or “all of the time” CHMS
Individual Sleep quality - Sleep efficiency In Development -
Individual Sleep hygiene - Sleep timing In Development -
Individual Sleep hygiene - Stress In Development -
Individual Sleep hygiene - Physical activity In Development -
Individual Sleep hygiene - Caffeinated beverage consumption In Development -
Family/Social Environment Home sleep rules and routines % of parents who report they set regular bedtimes for their children and enforce them In Development
Built/Society Environment Electronic media in the bedroom % of children and youth who report they have a television, computer, or game console in their bedroom In Development
Built/Society Environment Nocturnal environment noise In Development -

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