Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Physical Activity

Youth Screen Time

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.