The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) released the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Children and Youth in February 2011. The guidelines recommend children and youth aged 5-17 years should limit recreational screen time (e.g. watching television, playing video games or surfing the internet) to no more than 2 hours per day for health benefits.
According to the 2011-2012 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) conducted by Statistics Canada, nearly three-quarters (74% (67.5%, 81.5%)) of Simcoe Muskoka youth (12-17) exceeded the guideline of no more than 2 hours per day of recreational screen time, which was significantly higher than in 2007-2008 where 59% (49.3%, 68.9%) exceeded the youth screen time guideline. In 2011-2012 among Ontario youth (12-17 years), 69% (66.8%, 71.8%) exceeded the recreational screen time guideline, which was not significantly different than what was reported for the province as whole in 2007-2008.
In 2011-2012 among Simcoe Muskoka youth (12-17), significantly more boys exceeded the recreational screen time guideline (85% (73.3%, 91.9%)) when compared with girls (64% (51.2%, 75.1%)). During the same survey period, more Simcoe Muskoka youth living in households in the bottom half of the income distribution exceeded the screen time guideline (80% (71.0%, 87.0%)) when compared with those living in the top half of the income distribution (63% (45.7%, 77.8%)). Although the difference in excessive screen time for those in higher and lower income households is large (i.e. close to 20%); the difference was only borderline significant (chi-square=3.1; p=0.08) due to a relatively small number of children surveyed in Simcoe Muskoka during the survey period.