Reclaim Family Time as Active Time

Being Physically Active Together as a Family - Penfield Building Blocks

We know kids are sitting more and moving less, and there is something we can do about it. Canadian families have the power to help their children and youth in getting active to live their best lives possible. Canadian families can be active role models and provide the kind of positive encouragement our kids need.

Start by identifying as an active family.

Incorporating physical activity into daily routines doesn’t have to be complicated, and it’s a great way to build strong social bonds, get hearts pumping and have fun together.

It’s time to take back family time and re Claim it as active time.

Another great thing about physical activity is that it doesn’t have to cost anything. Physical activity really is for everyone. It’s for families of all backgrounds and dynamics.

To help families prioritize getting active, check out the following recommendations from The Role of the Family in the Physical Activity, Sedentary and Sleep Behaviours of Children and Youth A Consensus Statement:

Be an active role model:

  • Incorporate physical activity into daily routines, limit sedentary behaviours and look for opportunities to be active as a family when possible. Engaging in healthy movement behaviours together also helps keep families connected while building strong social bonds.

Use active transportation to get to destinations as a family:

  •  Whether you walk, wheel, rollerblade, skateboard or jog, there’s a form of active transportation for everyone. Try leaving the car at home once or twice a week – not only will you save money on gas and reduce harmful emissions, but you will also be spending more quality time as a family getting active.

Create a family media plan that includes:

  • Setting limits around screen viewing

  • Prioritizing screen-free family time and consider the use of “device baskets” (bins for storing personal mobile devices)

  • Removing screens from children’s bedrooms

  • Having screen-free family meals

Encourage more outdoor time:

  • Spending some time outdoors each week as a family is an easy and effective way to limit screen time and naturally boost moods, and it can also decrease sedentary behaviour and improve sleep quality.

The bottom line: family is a key source of influence on kids’ healthy movement. It’s time to make physical activity a family priority and lead by example – not only for the next generation, but for our own as well. If being active is second nature for us as adults, it will, in turn, become second nature for our children, too. It all starts with the family.

Week 6

Week 8



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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