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Physical Activity Resources for Elementary Educators

Research shows that in addition to physical health benefits, daily physical activity improves concentration and academic achievement. Schools are an ideal place to promote health by creating daily opportunities to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour. School-based physical activity initiatives can reach every student regardless of age, ability, gender, culture and socio-economic background. Both structured and unstructured activity is important and daily activity can be obtained through classes, sports, intramurals, dance, but as well as through play time and walking or biking for transportation.

  • School Travel Planning – School Travel Planning is a comprehensive process designed to increase physical activity of students by encouraging active forms of transportation for their school journey. Active School Travel engages school boards, school staff, parents, and students, as well as municipal staff, public health, community groups, and police. Stakeholders undertake an assessment of barriers and enablers to active school travel and use this knowledge to develop and implement school action plans. Public health staff are available to work with school communities to support each step in the STP process. Take a look at our STP flyer and contact.
  • Outdoor Naturalized Play Areas: Public health staff can provide information and support for implementation of play and learning environments that include a variety of natural and built elements. Take a look at a rapid evidence review completed by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit on Naturalized Outdoor Play Areas at Schools to Support Physical Activity and Health and contact us for support.
  • The Healthy P.A.L.S. program: a peer-led playground leadership program that encourages all children to participate in activities regardless of their gender, age, or ability. Dedicated school staff are trained to supervise the program and junior and intermediate students are trained to act as playground activity leaders for younger students.
  • Visit HealthStats for current statistics on physical activity across Simcoe and Muskoka.
  • Raise the Bar – For educators involved in intramural/house league programs in Ontario, Raise the Bar provides easy to use resources with a focus on inclusion and effective student leadership models.

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