A Movement to Move for Waterloo Region
Why it is important to make active living a priority for Waterloo Region?
The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute Report (2009) ranked Waterloo Region 21 out of 34 regions within Ontario with respect to physical activity and indicated that only 22.3% of youth and 49.1% of adults were sufficiently active to achieve health benefits. Recently, the "Shifting Gears" report highlighted that current levels of physical activity and healthy eating are not adequate to support good health for the majority of the population in Waterloo Region. In addition,
- 49.8% of adults reported being moderately physically active or active during leisure time
- 99% of residents consume a diet that increases the risk of developing chronic health conditions.
Community consultation on active living
Between January and March 2015, the WRALN held a community consultation regarding two policy tools created by the organization in 2013-14: the Waterloo Region Physical Activity Charter and the Framework for Action. Through eigh focus groups and five key informatnt interviews, facilitator D'Arcy Farlow hired by the WRALN, sought to obtain participants' feedback on the policy tools, explore their views on active living, and learn how to coordinate efforts to increase the overall levels of physical activity in Waterloo Region. Aproximately 89 individuals participated in this consultation process.
What we heard from participants
Bring back play! Play for all ages!
In the past, unstructered, active play was the norm and we have since moved away from this for many reasons. Now we are seen fewer but larger parks. Neighbourhood associations are implementing programs, but opportunities for just getting outside to play and meet our neighbourhoods are limited.
Launch a collaborative and coordinated approach to active living. We need to work together!
- A "Movement to Move" for Waterloo Region Collaboration
- Advocate for community participation in municipal and regional government strategic planning initiatives
If you are interested in reading the complete report, please click here
What can we do to increase movement in Waterloo Region ? Everyone has a role to play!
The WRALN believes that everybody in Waterloo Region is responsible and has a role to play in increasing physical activity at the population level: individual, groups, not-for -profit organizations, schools, businesses, health professionals, funding agencies, physical activity services providers, colleges and universities, Region of Waterloo, and local municipal governments.
The WRALN envisions A vibrant and health Waterloo Region where ALL residents are engaged in active living. To achieve this vision, the WRALN calls on all levels of government, educational institutions, neighbourhood associations, non-profit organizations, physical activity specialists to work together in the Movement to Move Collaboration to work together to reach these shared goals.
Familiarize yourself with two documents that are key to the A Movement to Move Manifesto for Waterloo Region and A Call for Action
A "Movement to Move" Manifesto for Waterloo Region
Vision: A vibrant and healthy Waterloo Region where all citizens are engaged in active living
The Waterloo Region Active Living Network believes in encouraging physical activity, active play, and all types of movement throughout the day. Our vision includes a region that promotes movement at every opportunity, embraces active living in the design and planning of neighborhoods and public spaces, and plays an important role in establishing supportive environments. In an active region, children, adults, and families are engaged to their full potential in learning, working, and playing.
Everyone has a role to play!
To achieve this vision, we call for all levels of government, educational institutions, neighborhood associations, like-minded civic groups, and individual citizens to work collaboratively to reach this shared goal, anchored in the following principles.
1. Commit to Getting Everyone Moving!
- Let’s incorporate movement in all aspects of our lives, including: work, active modes of transportation, daily life, school, and leisure time
2. Make it Easy to be Active!
- Bring back play! (In parks, on trails, in naturalized playgrounds and greenspaces)
- Promote physical activity skill development to increase the competence and confidence of children and to ensure that they have the capacity to be active throughout their lives
- Increase public awareness of the variety of activities and types of opportunities, programs, and facilities available to citizens
3. Be Inclusive!
- Support free and low-cost options for active living such as accessible public spaces for play, hiking or walking trails, as well as accessible organized recreation, programming and washrooms.
- Ensure a variety of opportunities exist that allow all individuals to easily participate in active living by responding to physical, mental, cultural, economic and/or developmental challenges.
4. Design and Plan Movement (at all Levels of Government)
- Design, plan and invest in neighborhoods, public spaces, greenspaces, parks, roads and communities which encourage active living through walking, cycling, running, skating
Become a member of WRALN to network, collaborate and share.