Alarming trends in childhood obesity among preschool children have refocused attention on the importance of physical activity in this age group. In Canada, national data show that 15% of 2 to 5-year-olds are overweight and 6.3% are obese. In this context, various initiatives are underway to develop guidelines for physical activity in the early years.
In the last 10 years or so, it has become evident that many young children do not participate in sufficient physical activity to remain healthy. According to the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), only 36% of 2 to 3-year-olds and 44% of 4 to 5-year-olds engage in unorganized sport and physical activity each week.