Family Support, Role Model

Introducing the Active for Life Role Models - Active For Life

What can we do as families to positively support healthy movement behaviours of our kids?

Family support has been shown to be positively associated with children’s physical activity levels. Furthermore, family-based interventions have been effective at improving physical activity levels in children and youth.

How we move as a family has a direct impact on our kids.

We need to use this knowledge to positively influence kids’ lives.

Facilitate physical activity by encouraging, watching, role modelling, co-participating and attending physical activity events.

Be active as a family and make it a priority – this encourages physical activity, social support, connectedness and attachment, which are all important for good mental health.

Encouraging kids to sit less and move more doesn’t have to be a complicated or strenuous task. By prioritizing physical activity and incorporating it into daily routines, we can create a mindset where being active won’t have to be a choice for Canadian children and youth, it will become second nature.

Be an active role model in kids’ lives

The ever-changing, fast-paced world we live in looks a lot different than it did even 20 years ago. The same can be said for the Canadian family unit. Families are more diverse and are structured in all kinds of different ways. Although a lot has changed, one thing remains the same: the family unit is one of the closest and most important sources of influence for the movement behaviours of children and youth.

Our kids are influenced every day by a number of different messages and sources, including friends, teachers, coaches, social media, TV, and ad campaigns. A lot of that is out of our control.

But it is important to remember that the habits and opportunities fostered within the family environment can also have a big impact on children’s lives. This includes modelling healthy movement behaviours.

Recent findings show that parents’ physical activity is directly associated with that of their children’s.

Each additional 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity by a parent is associated with an additional 5 minutes in their child’s daily physical activity (2016-17 CHMS, Statistics Canada).

The connection is clear: the more families move, the more children and youth move. We’ve heard all about children mirroring their parents’ behaviours, and how important role modelling can be in helping young people develop key life skills. Regardless of what the family dynamic looks like, the family members in kids’ Lives are direct role models for how young Canadians develop  especially when it comes to healthy movement behaviours.

Week 5

Week 7


ParticipACTION. The Role of the Family in the Physical Activity, Sedentary and Sleep Behaviours of Children and Youth. The 2020 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. Toronto: ParticipACTION; 2020. The 2020 Report Card and a summary of its findings (the Highlight Report) are available online at





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