Accurate statistics are now available from HMDA’s June 2022 population survey responses from the first 2,524 participants:

  1. 13.2% of the participants 15 and older scored as having HMD (hidden mobility disabilities, or the ability to walk but only a short distance and stand unsupported but only for a short time without serious health consequences). This rate would mean an estimated 4.25 million Canadians who are 15 years of age or older are dealing with HMD (an estimate that is reliable within ± 2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level).
  2. 46% of those with HMD can walk only 15m without significant difficulties, with an additional 20% able to walk up to 30m.
  3. 31% of those with HMD were able to stand unsupported for no more than 1-2 minutes, with an additional 34% able to stand unsupported for up to 5 minutes.
  4. The most common health condition resulting in HMD is osteoarthritis, followed by asthma, COPD, and heart disease.
  5. The most common consequences of walking too far are increased joint pain, increased difficulty breathing, walking more slowly until almost not moving, and trouble walking at all the next day.
  6. Those with HMD encounter the following attitudes most frequently from others: treated as though invisible, irritation or anger, pity, being impatiently ordered to walk faster or being shoved off balance as others rush by.
  7. Despite visibly slowing down (or staggering), only 21% of those with HMD reported someone asking if they needed help.
  8. 64% of those with HMD reported that it was challenging to access federal programs and services if they had to walk more than 15m or stand more than 1-2 minutes to receive service.
  9. 43% of those with HMD who did not vote in the last federal election refrained because they would have had to walk too far.
  10. Canadians with HMD are more prevalent than the number of Canadians with three of the five most common chronic diseases:

Hypertension 25%
Osteoarthritis 14%
HMD, or limited mobility 13%
Mood/anxiety disorder 13%
Osteoporosis 12%
Diabetes 11%