ACTIVE LIVING POLICY RATIONALE 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 preferences. All Canadians have access to equitable choices of opportunities for Active Living, appropriate to their age, gender, language, heritage, ability, location and socioeconomic status. 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. Purpose 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. POLICY DEVELOPMENT PROCESS 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. POLICY STATEMENTS STATEMENTS OF PRINCIPLE 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 goals. POLICY STATEMENTS 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 practitioners. 7. CP/RA will support the Active Living collective and collaborate in areas of common interests/needs. 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.