There are many factors that influence everyone’s physical activity decisions and must be addressed if we truly want to improve the health of our province. Trends that are reducing the demands of physical labour / activity and contributing to inactivity (being more sedentary) include:
- modernization, automation and the use of technology in all aspects of life
- too much screen time (television, computer, phone, handheld games and gaming devices)
- having the misconception that one needs to go to a gym or rely on facilities in order to be active rather than using the assets in one’s immediate environment (e.g., trails, natural parks, community gardens)
- commuting to and from school and work in vehicles rather than through active transportation such as walking, biking, etc.
- limited accessibility, including barriers related to participation costs, transportation, facilities, safety, diversity, qualified leaders, poverty, social barriers etc.
It is widely acknowledged that children, youth and adults need to move more, to become more active, both indoors and outside, and in structured and unstructured activity.
Facilities need to ensure they are inclusive and responsive to community needs. The built environment needs to be structured or manipulated to encourage physical activity in all aspects of daily living.