Physical Activity | Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Physical Activity

Physical Activity

What's New?

Ophea Healthy Schools Certification

The Ophea Healthy Schools Certification is a six-step process for elementary and secondary schools that guides schools through the steps needed to effectively plan, implement and evaluate activities to improve the health and wellbeing of the entire school community. Schools identify a priority health topic area and can earn Bronze, Silver or Gold Certification based on implementing their plan. Registration for the 2017-2018 school year begins during the month of September!

Background Information

24-Hour Movement Guidelines

In 2016, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology released the new 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth  aged 5-17. These evidence-based guidelines are unique in that they demonstrate the interrelationship between physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep within a 24-hour period.  They also highlight the important contribution of light physical activity to overall, daily movement.

Physical Activity Statistics: Children and Youth

Unfortunately, the majority of Canadian children and youth are not meeting the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. Although local-level data is limited, the following resources can provide insight into the physical activity behaviour of the school-aged population. 

Policy Support

The Ministry of Education released the Daily Physical Activity in Elementary Schools Policy in 2005.

Supporting tools and resources:

Health and Physical Education Curriculum Support

Research demonstrates that physical activity has positive effects on students’ academic readiness and performance. Incorporating physical activity within the school environment can be made easier with a little planning. The following resources provide many great ways to inspire your students to be more active:

  • OPHEA Teaching Tools: Ready-to-use lesson plans, supplements and activities to support Health & Physical Education curriculum.
  • Play Sport:  Activity-based resource inspired from the Teaching Games for Understanding approach. Includes curriculum linkages to help students develop physical literacy, health literacy and skills for healthy active living.
  • Physical & Health Education Canada: Supports the development of health-promoting schools through the provision of information and resources regarding: quality DPA; healthy school environments; quality school intramural recreation; and dance education.
  • Passport for Life:  Online tool to assess and support students’ physical literacy.
  • Active for Life: Contains resources to help educators facilitate students’ development of physical literacy (elementary).
  • Have a Ball Together : Provides information regarding physical activity and physical literacy, and includes over 100 great ideas to get kids aged 0-6 years moving (elementary).
  • GoNoodle  Fun videos to activate kids’ bodies and minds-a great idea for transitions between topics or classes (elementary).

 Healthy School Environment

  • Ophea Healthy School Certification: Schools can earn Bronze, Silver or Gold Healthy Schools Certification by following a six-step process that is consistent with Foundations for a Healthy School.
  • Walk Across Canada Guidebook: Promotes a fun and rewarding way to incorporate walking in the school environment.
  • School Pedometer Toolkit: Kits of 30 pedometers can be borrowed by teachers for a maximum of 6 weeks. For more information, contact our Healthy Life Line at 613-966-5500 ext. 610.
  • Physical Activity Leaders in Schools (P.A.L.S.): School-led physical activity program to promote intermediate student engagement and leadership.
  • Ontario Ministry of Education’s Raise the Bar: Provides training and online resources to support inclusive intramural sports in Ontario schools
  • CIRA Ontario: Tools, information and practical ideas to promote, encourage and develop healthy active living and personal development for all through recreational and educational programs.

Home/School Connections

Physical Literacy

Research demonstrates the importance of physical activity for child health and development. Providing children with opportunities to develop physical literacy are crucial to establishing motivation, confidence and skills that will support physical activity behaviours throughout their lives.

Find all the tools you need below to host your own physical literacy parent night at your elementary school:


Healthy Kids Community Challenge: A community based program reaching into early years and school settings that aims to promote the health and well-being of children in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties through physical activity, healthy eating, and other healthy habits.