COVID-19

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, public health authorities across the country have recommended that Canadians keep their distance, wash their hands, and stay home. To enforce these measures early in the pandemic, restrictions on outdoor behaviour were implemented, limiting access to parks, playgrounds, conservation areas and recreational outdoor spaces. Counterbalancing efforts to create more...

In their latest article for The Conversation, Dr. John J Reilly, Professor of Physical Activity and Public Health Science, University of Strathclyde, and Dr. Mark Tremblay, Professor of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, discuss the negative effects COVID-19 related restrictions have had on children's cardiorespiratory fitness. Cardiorespiratory fitness, the authors explain, is...

On August 26, 2020, Tim Gill, an independent researcher and International Play Association member, and Robyn Monro Miller, President of the International Play Association, released their study report: 'Play in Lockdown: An international study of government and civil society responses to Covid-19 and their impact on children’s play and mobility'. The study collected data from 25...

This blog provides a brief overview of an article published in Health Reports on July 15, 2020: “Exercise and screen time during the COVID-19 pandemic” by Rachel C Colley, Tracey Bushnik and Kellie Langlois. Thank you to Dr. Colley for providing this post. Background Life changed dramatically in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seemingly overnight,...

OTTAWA, 29 July 2020—The Healthy Transportation Coalition is asking that any federal stimulus money be invested in healthy transportation projects and affordable housing, and not in road projects to increase car capacity. In a letter to Ottawa City Council, the Ottawa Board of Health, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches, and Minister of Infrastructure and Communities of...

After a school year that saw students spend hours in front of screens and little time playing outdoors, a shift appears to be happening this summer break. With many parents continuing to work from home, and summer camp programs closed or limited in capacity, children are suddenly experiencing the freedom to roam on their own. In...

On July 16th, 2020, Outdoor Play Canada Project Manager Dr. Louise de Lannoy spoke with CBC Ottawa regarding the reopening of outdoor playgrounds in Ontario. "When children are outdoors and when they’re playing, it gives them a sense of agency, a sense of control. It’s also important in times of stress and adversity to help them...

In an article for the Ryerson City Building Institute, Ryerson Associate Professor, urban planner, and Outdoor Play Canada Leadership Team Member, Dr. Raktim Mitra describes the findings of his latest research on the importance of access to safe and welcoming outdoor space and maintaining healthy movement behaviours among Canadian kids during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a...

Press Release: Summer homework – get kids outside and recalibrate healthy lifestyles A national survey commissioned by ParticipACTION shows evidence of collateral damage to the lifestyles of Canadian children and youth consequent to public health restrictions imposed to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Restricted access to playgrounds, schools, childcare, playdates, and instructions to “stay home” have...

In a recent article for The Conversation, Negin Riazi, PhD Candidate, and Guy Faulkner, Professor, in the School of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia, discuss the importance of independent mobility for children's mental and physical health and development, the impact of COVID-19 on children's ability to get outdoors freely, as well as the...

In a note at the request of the Play Safety Forum (including Play England, Play Scotland, Play Wales and PlayBoard Northern Ireland), Professor David Ball, Tim Gill and Andy Yates summarized evidence on the effect of restricting children's play as it relates to 1) reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and conversely, 2) negatively impacting...

In a recent piece for the New York Times, Lorraine Allen discusses the impact of COVID-19 related confinement on children in Spain and Italy. Her article centres around the findings from a recent study collaboratively produced by researchers from Miguel Hernandez University (Spain) and University of Perugia (Italy; publication under review), which describes increases in irritability,...

In a recent piece published in The Conversation, Dr. Lauren McNamara, Research Scientist with the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University, and Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, Professor of Education Policy at the University of New South Wales discuss the importance of preserving recess when schools reopen after the COVID-19 shut downs. Their piece in The Conversation follows from...

In a piece for the Centre for Active Living, Kassi Boyd, the Community Impact Coordinator at The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement, and a 3rd year PhD student in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation at the University of Alberta, and Dr. Jennifer Leo, Director of The Steadward Centre for Personal &...