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					            ACTIVE LIVING


The late 1970's and early 1980's saw the development of a concept of fitness that focused
on the physiological aspects of physical activity and minimized the importance of the social,
emotional and spiritual dimensions of the individual participating in physical activity. Many
Canadians found the emphasis on the physiological dimension limiting and not completely
reflective to their way of life.

The last decade has seen a dramatic change in physical activity as an important cornerstone
in the quality of life of Canadians.

This quality of life can be described in terms of:

Personal Benefit - improved physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

Social Benefit - improved well-being reduces antisocial behaviour and encourages the
individuals positive involvement with, and contribution to, the community.

Economic Benefit - improved well-being is a pro-active measure towards health care and
security costs.

Environmental Benefit - more active individuals will utilize value and support community
open spaces and natural environments to a greater degree.

In 1986, the Canadian Summit on Fitness brought together key representatives from all
sectors of the education, recreation, health and fitness delivery systems. The delegates at
this summit recognized the need to move away from the narrow interpretation of fitness
toward a holistic approach. This holistic interpretation acknowledges that physical activity is
a vehicle for personal growth; and is a major contributor to physical, social, economical and
spiritual well-being.

The 1988 Campbell Survey on Well Being showed that between 1981 and 1988 there was a
24% increase in the number of Canadians who participate in physical activity. However,
this study also shows that only 63% of the Canadian population is active on a regular basis,
three hours per week for at least nine months out of a year.

More recently, the integrated model of Active Living has been evolving. The Administrative
Bureau for Active Living, housing targeted Alliances and Secretariats, was created to further
the Active Living movement in Canada. It linked Fitness Canada to partners in the public,
non-profit, and corporate sector.

In 1992, the Minister of State for Fitness and Amateur Sport, established a Ministerial
Steering Committee on Active Living to undertake an extensive, consultative review of the
Active Living movement. Through the 1992 Fall Forum on Active Living milieu was brought
together for the first time since 1986. Along with the creation of a collective vision and
collective mechanism, delegates and the Steering Committee made recommendations
regarding strategic directions and goals for the advancement of Active Living in Canada.

Vision Statement
The vision of Active Living in Canada is one in which Canadians integrate regular physical
activity into various facets of daily life. Social and physical environments encourage and
support personal choices to live actively. Canadian society values Active Living as a
fundamental component of being healthy and well, and enriching quality of life. Active
Living is a visible and important expression of Canadian culture.

Key aspects of the vision:

   Active Living plays an important role in personal development and life-long learning.
   Active Living spans all facets of daily life including work, education and leisure.
   A broad range of physical activity choices is available to meet individual needs and
   All Canadians have access to equitable choices of opportunities for Active Living,
    appropriate to their age, gender, language, heritage, ability, location and socioeconomic

Origin of Need for the Policy
CP/RA adopted a National Fitness Policy at its Annual General Meeting on August 15, 1984.
The change in the narrow interpretation of fitness to a holistic concept that integrates
physical activity as a part of a balanced way of living led to the need to review CP/RA's
adopted policy.

Relationship to CP/RA Mandate
CP/RA has stated its mission as:
"The Canadian Parks/Recreation Association is dedicated to the enhancement of quality
leisure lifestyles and environments for all Canadians through the efforts of its membership
and allies in advocacy, education, information sharing, policy development and other
national initiatives."

To the extent that one component of the leisure services system includes physical activity
programs, services and facilities, this Active Living Policy addresses the CP/RA mandate.


The purpose of this Policy is to define the role of CP/RA in the promotion of Active Living; to
clarify how the concept of Active Living is to be embodied with all CP/RA initiatives and
services and the responsibility of all who administer those services; to increase CP/RA
member awareness of the need for the development of programs, services and initiatives
that support the Active Living concept and to influence municipal policies affecting Active
Living opportunities.


A fitness policy was approved by the CP/RA membership in 1984, In 1988, the newly
formed CP/RA Committee on Physical Activity and fitness established the review of this
adopted policy as one of its Committee objectives. A sub-committee review of relevant
literature and discussion with a sampling of leisure service providers was carried out. A
further revision was carried out in 1992.

Results and Summary
The review identified that the concept of Active Living had evolved to describe the
interdependence of an individual's physical, social, emotional , and spiritual dimensions.
The concept is a close philosophical fit with CP/RA's basic philosophical belief in the benefits
of Active Living.


CP/RA believes that:

1. Active Living, which includes a variety of physical activities with an individual's daily
   routine and leisure pursuit will maximize his/her human potential physically, socially,
   emotionally, and spiritually.

2. Active Living will improve the quality of life for the individual, through improved fitness
   and personal well-being.

3. The responsibility to maintain a balanced way of life lies with each individual.

4. All Canadians have access to equitable choices of opportunities for Active Living
   appropriate to their age, gender, language, heritage, ability and social-economic status.

5. CP/RA will promote Active Living as part of the benefits driven approach to recreation.

6. Recreation relates to the beneficial use of leisure time and can include social, cultural,
   and physical endeavour. Active Living, a concept which encourages physical activity,
   therefore, can be a valuable vehicle that contributes to the attainment of recreation


1. CP/RA will promote the concept of Active Living.

2. CP/RA will strive to increase CP/RA member awareness of the need for the development
   of sustainable Active Living choices that meet individual needs and preferences within
   the framework of municipal leisure services.

3. Through a benefits based approach, CP/RA will influence municipal policies affecting
   Active Living opportunities.

4. CP/RA will establish a network within the CP/RA membership to raise awareness of and
   respond to physical activity issues.

5. CP/RA will promote national physical activity leadership standards.

6. CP/RA will develop and/or provide resource and educational materials regarding Active
   Living programs, services and models to CP/RA members and municipal recreation

7. CP/RA will support the Active Living collective and collaborate in areas of common

8. CP/RA members, affiliates and alliances embrace the concept of Active Living and
   endeavour to incorporate its premise within all agency services and programs.

CP/RA will support a comprehensive communications strategy for Active Living.

CP/RA, Active Living Policy adopted August 1990 at the AGM.

Lingjuan Ma Lingjuan Ma MS
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