Research shows that creating affordable opportunities for physical activity ensures that all community members can participate, regardless of income level.1-3
Ways to get started
- Provide free or low cost programs around the community (e.g. libraries, school grounds, parks) by partnering with relevant stakeholders.
- Offer low-cost or free childcare to support parents or guardians in doing physical activities or to be able to participate in programs.
- Offer low-cost or free transportation to facilities or programs that offer physical activities.
- Hold physical activities and programs where people gather, visit and live (e.g. parks, bike paths, events, centres) or itinerant programming.
- Work with municipalities, facilities, schools, or workplaces for venue options, discounted memberships, equipment, coaches at a free or reduced cost.
- Approach businesses to offer or contribute to lowering the cost of physical activity opportunities, such as through subsidies.
- Raise awareness about the different ways physical activity can be incorporated in our daily lives that are free of very low cost and support a healthy lifestyle—consult or partner with health professionals in the area and align with guidelines such as the Canadian Physical Activity and 24-hour movement guidelines.
Amplify your impact
For further action to increase physical activity in your community, see
- Awareness and education strategy,
- Bike racks or shelters strategy,
- Creating inclusive programming strategy,
- Active transportation for schools strategy,
- Stairwell use strategy,
- Public pathways strategy.
Multi-component community-wide interventions that increase awareness about and provide opportunities for physical activity in your community will have greater impact than implementing one-off strategies.
Evaluation measures the impact of all the hard work that went into developing a community initiative. Evaluating impact examines:
- What you expect to learn or change
- What you measure and report
- How to measure impact
What you expect to learn about affordable opportunities may include:
- Learning that the strategy was implemented as planned
- Learning that the strategy reached those you wanted to reach
- Increased access to affordable physical activity programs or initiatives
- Increased affordability of physical activity programs for users
References- Affordable Opportunities (Physical Activity)
- MacArthur Group Inc. Physical activity strategy for Prince Edward Island 2004-2009. Charlottetown (PE): MacArthur Group; 2004. Available from: http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/doh_actstrat.pdf.
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Physical activity for children and young people. NICE guideline. London (UK): National Institute for Health and Care Excellence; 2009. Available from: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph17.
- BC Ministry of Health. Evidence review: healthy living – physical activity and healthy eating. CORE public health functions for BC. Victoria (BC): BC Ministry of Health; 2006. Available from: https://www.health.gov.bc.ca/public-health/pdf/Healthy_Living_Physical_Activity_Healthy_Eating_Evidence_Review.pdf.