Participating in physical activity is one of the most effective ways to ensure children reach their full potential and to create a healthy and productive society.
Despite all of the benefits of physical activity, not many children and youth get enough daily physical activity according to the 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.
Daily physical activity, or DPA, is a mandatory component of daily instruction for students in Ontario and is included as a curriculum expectation in the Health and Physical Education Curriculum.
Programs such as Active Recess, Active and Safe Routes to School and DPA are only some options to encourage students to be active. Schools and communities need to work together to ensure that all children and youth have opportunities to be active.
Working together to promote physical activity will not only increase student health, but will also help to improve academic performance.
Resources for physical activity
See ideas and resources below that support physical activity:
Curriculum, teaching & learning
- Promote the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth
- Access online health and physical education resources and training from Ophea such as lesson plans, student templates and assessment tools
- Have students assess their physical literacy through the Passport for Life assessment tool
School & classroom leadership
- Apply to have your school recognized for excellence in school physical education programs through the Quality Daily Physical Education Award Program.
- Have student leaders provide active recess opportunities.
- Create a school policy to ensure that physical activity is never used or taken away as a punishment; instead, consider using it as a reward.
- Develop a school travel plan, that focuses on school travel route analysis to improve the students daily journey to and from school.
Social & physical environments
- Follow school board policies and Ophea’s Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines to ensure a safe active environment
- Walk around the neighbourhood to determine transportation and safety concerns at the school
- Use Ophea’s Steps to Inclusion to support inclusive physical activity
- Promote Kid Sport Canada for students to access financial support for organized sports programs
- Read about Right to Play Canada, an organization that brings the power of sport and play to children in all communities
- Adopt True Sport’s principles for fair play - ethical, inclusive, fun, safe and welcoming environments
- Ensure student access to equipment and facilities for physical activity such as sidewalk chalk, skipping ropes, balls and hula hoops
- Check Smart Commute Hamilton to learn more about the School Bike Rack Grant Program
Paint lines on school tarmac for active play at recess, such as hopscotch and foursquare
Home, school & community partnerships
- Hamilton Public Health Services - learn how to create an active community.
- Check City of Hamilton recreation courses, lessons or drop-in’s and learn about financial assistance for recreation programs.
- Check Active and Safe Routes to School to read about creating a culture of walking and active school travel options.
- See if your school is eligible for YMCA Y on Wheels by calling 905-317-4948. This program provides free health, fitness and recreation programs and services to eligible schools.
- Check Parks & Recreation Ontario for information on parks, recreation and educational programs.
- For a physical activity consultation contact your public health nurse or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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