Policy

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...

Thank you to Murry Burgess (North Carolina State University), Rachel Szczytko (Pisces Foundation), and Kathryn Stevenson (North Carolina State University), for providing this post. Do children in your life spend time outside? What do they do? Maybe they go on family hunting trips, play organized sports, or spend time alone in the backyard. New research shows...

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...

Thank you to Yingyi Lin, PhD student in the Population, Health and Place program at the University of Southern California, and Mariana Brussoni, Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, for providing this post. Walking to school and playing in the streets without adult supervision were previously commonplace, but are no longer the norm in...

Thank you to Louise Zimanyi and Olga Rossovska, Professors of Early Childhood Education at  Humber College, for providing this post. Two 150-year old crack willow trees surrounded by 250 acres of Carolinian forest, one of Canada’s most biologically diverse ecosystems, are the heart of The Willows forest nature program for children at the Child Development Centre...

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 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 her recent article for The Guardian, Laura Laker discusses the innovative ways several cities around the world have changed to keep kids healthy, sociable and outdoors. Ms. Laker highlights concerns over city planning that prioritizes cars and the economy over the environment and quality of life, and contrasts those concerns with examples of how child-friendly...

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...