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Canadian Armed Forces Health Survey, 2019

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Released: 2019-12-04

Sustaining a healthy and deployable force is a priority of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Data from the 2019 Canadian Armed Forces Health Survey, available today, provide a snapshot of the current health status and work-related characteristics of CAF members.

Who are the Canadian Armed Forces?

The CAF comprise the Regular Force (74%), which includes full-time members, and the Reserve Force (26%), whose members are largely part time. Reserve Force members tend to be younger, with a median age of 32, compared with Regular Force members, with a median age of 36.

The majority of members are part of the land service element (57%), followed by air (27%) and sea (16%). Overall, one in seven CAF members (15%) are women.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Regular and Reserve Forces by age group, Canadian Armed Forces, 2019
Regular and Reserve Forces by age group, Canadian Armed Forces, 2019

About two-thirds of members are satisfied with their job

About two-thirds of CAF members (65%) stated that, in the past 12 months, they were satisfied or very satisfied with their job or main activity in the forces. Those in the Reserve Force (72%) were more likely to be satisfied or very satisfied than those in the Regular Force (62%).

The majority of CAF members have been deployed

Overall, 65% of CAF members had been deployed domestically or internationally. This proportion was higher among men (68%) than women (52%).

Deployment was highest (71%) among Regular Force members. Just under half of the Reserve Force (48%) had ever deployed. CAF members serving in the sea element were more likely to have deployed (72%) than those in the air (66%) or land (63%) elements. Among members who had ever deployed, 84% had done so outside of North America in support of a CAF operation or humanitarian mission.

Over half of CAF members allot work time for personal physical activity

The CAF are committed to maintaining high levels of operational effectiveness and readiness, part of which includes being physically fit to perform military, defence and security duties.

All Regular Force and Reserve Force members are expected to participate in physical fitness training and are provided opportunities to conduct these activities during normal working hours when circumstances permit.

More than half of CAF members were allotted time for physical activity during working hours, outside of mandatory group physical activity. Women, Regular Force members, those serving in the air service element, and Senior Non-Commissioned Members were most likely to report being given designated work time for physical activity and having used it.

Those who use work time allotted for physical activity are most likely to meet physical activity guidelines

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. CAF members who used work time for physical activity (77%) were more likely to have met or exceeded these guidelines than those who did not (63%), or those who were not given designated work time for physical activity (70%).

  Note to readers

Responses were received from over 14,000 active members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), including members of the Regular Force and Reserve Force.

The response rate among Regular Force members was 39.6%. In all, 13,065 Regular Force members completed the questionnaire. Their responses were weighted to represent the entire Regular Force population of 56,400.

The response rate among Reserve Force members was 25.7%. In all, 1,028 Reservists completed the questionnaire. Their responses were weighted to represent the Reserve Force population of 20,300 who were training regularly on a part-time basis with occasional periods of full-time service.

Regular Force and Reserve Force

Regular Force members comprise the majority of the CAF. Members of the Regular Force serve Canada on a full-time basis. Unlike the Regular Force, the Reserve Force is composed predominantly of part-time members who serve in community-level units located throughout Canada and who may consent to serve full-time for a range of employment within the CAF, including operations for periods ranging from weeks to years. This may include part-time employment associated with a training-level commitment of about one evening a week and one weekend a month (Class A); full-time employment for non-operational roles, such as training or support to an operational unit (Class B); or full-time service in a Regular Force establishment position on domestic or international operations (Class C).


The infographic "Men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces, 2019," part of the series Statistics Canada—Infographics (Catalogue number11-627-M), is also available.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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