Imagine running from zombies, riding a unicorn or sleeping in a bed full of puppies all in one day. Sound like the best day possible for a child? Well it’s also the healthiest one, with Build Your Best Day.

Build Your Best Day is a new interactive web experience that lets kids imagine a day where they can do anything they want, all the while learning about the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth in a fun way. Choosing activities—both real and imagined—teaches kids about the balance of sweating, stepping, sleeping and sitting they need each day to be healthy:

  • Sweat – 60 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity
  • Step – several hours of light physical activity
  • Sleep – 9-11 hours of sleep per night for children aged 5-13 years, and 8-10 hours for those aged 14-17 years
  • Sit – no more than two hours of recreational screen time and limited sitting for extended periods

The 24-Hour Guidelines were first released in the 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth and outline what a healthy 24-hour period looks like for those aged 5-17.  For optimal health, children and youth need to sweat, step, sleep and sit the right amounts.  However, only nine per cent of Canadian kids get enough heart-pumping physical activity, and only 24 per cent are meeting screen time guidelines of no more than two hours per day.  Plus, in recent decades, children’s nightly sleep duration has decreased by 30 minutes to an hour, and 31 per cent of school-aged kids and 26 per cent of adolescents in Canada are sleep-deprived.

The Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (CHEO-HALO), the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and ParticipACTION created Build Your Best Day to help children and youth and their parents learn about the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines.  The site also includes educational tools and resources for educators, parents and health professionals to download, and will be supported by a digital marketing campaign.