Public Health Agency of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada
Help the Government of Canada organize its website! Complete an anonymous 5-minute questionnaire. Start now.

Share this page

Benefits of Physical Activity

Physical activity offers a range of benefits for all ages and abilities as part of a healthy lifestyle.

For children (5-11 yrs) and youth (12-17 yrs)

Physical activity is essential for healthy growth and development. Regular physical activity in childhood develops cardiovascular fitness, strength and bone density.

Physical activity plays an important role in the health, well-being and quality of life of Canadians and helps to prevent chronic diseases like cancer, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease later in life.

Establishing positive habits early in childhood and adolescence can last a lifetime.

For adults (18-64 yrs)

Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of over 25 chronic conditions, including coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, breast cancer, colon cancer, Type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

Regular physical activity and higher levels of fitness allow daily tasks to be accomplished with greater ease and comfort and with less fatigue. Research shows that as much as half the functional decline between the ages of 30 and 70 is due not to aging itself but to an inactive way of life.

For older adults (65 yrs and older)

Weight-bearing physical activity reduces the rate of bone loss associated with osteoporosis. Regular physical activity maintains strength and flexibility, balance and coordination, and can help reduce the risk of falls.

In short, physical activity helps prolong good health and independence.