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Physical Activity

Active at school

Children and youth spend most of their hours in a day at school. For this reason, schools are very important places for students to get the physical activity they need to be mentally and physically healthy. When students are active in their day, they are ready to learn.

Physical activity opportunities for students can occur:

The following video shares how students feel about their walk to school and why they are encouraging their friends to try it. (Video is closed captioned).

 

A healthy outdoor environment at school includes different spaces to support play and physical activity for all ages, abilities and interests.  This can include:

  • Traditional playground structures such as swings and a slide;
  • Open areas to run;
  • Sports fields for team games like soccer and baseball; and
  • Natural areas with features like shade trees, shrubs, hills, grass meadows, logs and large rocks for climbing, exploring, building and connecting with nature.

The following video is about the benefits of play and learning in nature. (Video is closed captioned).

 

Parents and caregivers can ask the school principal about getting involved in creating healthy outdoor play and learning areas. These environments can support daily physical activity. Parents and caregivers can also ask about getting involved in supporting more students to walk and cycle to school. Parents and caregivers can ask to help organize school physical activity events or join school council

Other ideas parents and caregivers can ask schools about:

  • How students are being provided with daily physical activity opportunities at school;
  • School policies that support physical activity programs and resources;
  • School playground equipment but also creating natural areas that encourage active outdoor play;
  • Secure bike racks installed in an area that can be seen by school staff; and
  • The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit being consulted to look at options for school travel planning and school ground greening.

More information for school administrators related to supporting physical activity in school environments can be found here –

http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/HealthUnit/Workplaces/Schools/School-Administrators

More information for elementary school staff related to supporting physical activity in school environments can be found here -

http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/HealthUnit/Workplaces/Schools/Educators/Health-Curriculum-Elementary

More information for secondary school staff related to supporting physical activity in school environments can be found here -

http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/HealthUnit/Workplaces/Schools/Educators/Health-Curriculum-Secondary

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