Move more, sit less, and just be active...but what about sleep?
Physical activity levels of Albertans have been monitored every other year by the Centre for Active Living since 1993. In addition to physical activity and sedentary levels, the 2019 Alberta Survey on Physical Activity takes a look at how much sleep Albertans achieve.
For the first time, the 2019 Survey reported on sleep behaviour of Albertans including the average hours of sleep on weekdays and weekends. Results have shown that Albertans sleep an average of 7.6 hours on weekdays and 8.3 hours on weekends, which aligns with the sleep recommendations of 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults, 18 to 64 years, and 7 to 8 hours for adults, 65 years or older.
“People underestimate the importance of sleep as part of a healthy, active lifestyle,” says Nora Johnston, Director of the Centre for Active Living.
The report also found that 70% of Albertans have an electronic device, such as a television, computer, tablet, smartphone, or video games, in the bedroom. Of these adults, 65% use their electronic device within 30 minutes of going to sleep, which can actually delay the body’s internal clock and make it harder to fall asleep.
“More work is needed to support Albertans to be more physically active and less sedentary in our workplace, home, and in the community,” says Johnston. “But we also need to think about the 24-hour day and how to support Albertans to achieve a good night’s sleep.”
Sleep is just one part of the equation. Albertans still need to move more and sit less throughout the day.
In fact, there is evidence to suggest that being physically active can support improvements in being able to fall asleep and overall sleep quality. Although more investigation is needed to understand how sedentary behaviour can affect sleep, it is understood that achieving too few hours of sleep can lead to feelings of tiredness, which may in turn lead to being more sedentary. Similarly, spending a lot of time sedentary, such as screen-time, may also lead to reductions in sleep time and quality.
“There are still 36% of Albertans who are not physically active enough to achieve health benefits and one-third of Albertans who sit for 10 hours or more a day,” says Dr. Soultana Macridis, a co-author of the report and the Research Associate & Knowledge Translation Specialist at the Centre for Active Living.
The report also found that 70% of Albertans who are sufficiently active meet the daily sleep recommendations compared to 67% of those who are not active enough. Leading an inactive and sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of developing chronic physical and mental health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, colon cancers, breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes, depression, and anxiety. At the same time, a good night’s sleep can support neural development, learning, memory, emotional regulation, as well as metabolic and cardiovascular health.
2019 Alberta Survey on Physical Activity
|Executive Summary (2019)
||Full Report (2019)
|11 pages, PDF||60 pages, PDF||8.5x11" PDF or 25x35" PDF|
Every two years, the Alberta Survey on Physical Activity assesses:
- the physical activity participation,
- walking habits, and
- other factors related to physical activity participation.
The Centre for Active Living (CAL) is a key advocate of physical activity and physical activity expertise. CAL is a primary source of research and education on physical activity for practitioners, organizations and decision-makers. CAL is a centre within the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta.
To see previous surveys, go to our Alberta Survey on Physical Activity page.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Nora Johnston, Director Centre for Active Living, University of Alberta [email protected], 780-492-4962
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