Vision: A vibrant and healthy Waterloo Region where all citizens are engaged in active living

The WRALN 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, WRALN calls for all levels of government, educational institutions, neighborhood associations, like-minded civic groups, non-profit organizations and physical activity specialists to work collaboratively and in a coordinated way to reach our the overarching goal of increase the number of people in the Waterloo Region reporting that they are physically active at least three times a week.

 

VALUES

The WRALN is committed to the following principles (adapted from the Toronto Charter for Physical Activity)

  • adopt evidence-base knowledge to guide decisions
  • Include all members of our community
  • Address environmental, social and individual determinant of physical inactivity
  • Work in partnership across multiples sectors for long lasting commitment to physical activity
  • Work to increase community capacity at all levels (individuals, organizations, community and society) to promote and support physical activity in Waterloo Region
  • Promote physical activity for all ages
  • Advocate to decision making to make physical activity choices easier
  • Encourage physical activity, active play, and all types of movement throughout the day: Walks in the park, organized sports, family bike rides, dance class, walking to school/work, gardening, sitting yoga, elite sports and pick-up games of hockey are all examples of physical activity that get people moving and having fun.  Our ultimate goal is to see people moving and having fun regardless of the activity they choose.

 The WRALN focusses its work in the following areas

  • Promoting movement at every opportunity

  • Increasing overall community capacity and sustainability

  • Advocating for inclusion and accessibility for active living opportunities for all,

  • Generating opportunities for partnership and collaboration, and

  • Offering networking opportunities for other community groups promoting active living in Waterloo Region

We believe

  • In a vibrant Waterloo Region where all residents are engaged in active living.
  • Movement doesn’t just save lives, it builds them.
  • Movement creates a sense of belonging and community pride.
  • A healthy and active body is the foundation for a physical, emotional and spiritual strength.
  • Physical inactivity is a significant predictor of major non communicable diseases such as  coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, mellitus, obesity, some cancers, aspects of mental health and overall mortality, as well as poor quality of life (The Lancet, 2012)
  • Movement isn’t just a nice to do: it is an investment in healthy communities that make better use of health and social services.

 

Physical activity has been known to promote better overall physical and mental health, prevent disease, improve social connectedness, provide economic benefits and contribute to environmental sustainability (The Lancet, 2012).  The evidence also indicates that increasing levels of physical activity, together with healthy diets, contribute to the overall health of the community by reducing the burden of disease, death and disability contributed by non communicable diseases (WHO, 2004).  Individual factors (age, sex, health status), the build environment (community design, land use) and transportation systems (encouraging or discouraging walking, cycling, playing in parks, driving cars, taking public transit and using recreational facilities, etc.) are factors that affect population levels of physical activity.