Healthy Lifestyles

Many different aspects of a student's day can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. The amount of physical activity, sedentary time, and sleep students have affects their health and how they function in and outside of school. The 24-Hour Movement Guidelines are evidence based guidelines that explain how much time in one day students should spend sweating, stepping, sitting, and sleeping for their health.

Incorporating movement and time in nature is an important part of every day for students in your classroom. Physical activity contributes to:

  • Increased cognitive function
  • Enhanced attention span
  • Enhanced heart and muscular fitness
  • Better learning
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Better social behaviours

If you are looking for tips on how to address certain issues or topics, reach out to the school health team using our request form.

Active Transportation

Active transportation is any form of human powered travel such as walking, biking, rollerblading, and skateboarding. Active school travel leads to healthier children, less traffic and pollution, safer school zones, and better academic performance.

  • Active & Safe Routes to School has a School Travel Planning Manual, resources and programs that are linked to the curriculum to support active school travel 
  • Ontario Active School Travel works to ensure a comprehensive, inclusive, and sustainable approach to getting students walking and cycling. This site shares resources, activities and information on the Five E's that contribute to successful school travel planning: education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement and evaluation.
  • shares many ways to take action to boost sustainable travel at your school. Offers a school travel planning toolkit and the Ideas Lab - a searchable catalogue of inspirational ideas and how-to resources that will help you get started.
Environmental and Outdoor Education
  • EcoSchools Canada offers a certification program for elementary through secondary schools that nurtures environmental learning and climate action.

  • Quality Participation on Playgrounds Resources from the Canadian Disability Participation Project provide strategies and recommendations for building quality participation and designing inclusive playgrounds for children with disabilities. 
  • Ophea: Outdoor Education Toolkits were developed to enrich and promote a culture of safety-mindedness, increase teacher awareness, confidence, and preparedness to teach outdoor education safety and risk management, and increase student awareness, confidence, and preparedness about outdoor education safety and risk management. Kits are available for Grades 1 to 8, and Grades 9 to 12.
  • Teacher's Guide to Outdoor Learning from Pathway to Stewardship & Kinship provides tips, resources, strategies and activities to encourage outdoor learning.  
  • Thrive Outside from Child & Nature Alliance of Canada is an online resource portal. It includes a Teacher’s Guidebook with strategies, tips, and ideas for bringing learning outside. It also offers resources to support educators in leading children in unstructured play and learning outdoors. 
Physical Activity
  • HPPH Playground Leaders Training | a 2.5 hour training for older students in your school to be leaders on the playground and share new and old games with younger students. The training focuses on developing leadership skills, conflict resolution strategies, and safety to ensure quality, age appropriate activities are shared to encourage movement during recess.
  • 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth 5-17 Years encourage children and youth to "Sweat, Step, Sleep and Sit" the right amounts for a healthy 24 hours.
  • BOKS is a free physical activity program for kids of all ages and abilities. The BOKS program includes lesson plans, training, and support needed to get kids moving for up to 45 minutes a day. It also includes shorter movement breaks, games, and activities tailored to your needs as an educator or parent.
  • Check out OPHEA (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association) for a variety of physical activity lesson plans, ideas, professional learning and more.
  • Ready, Check Go! Series from Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada) is a physical activity tracker designed to help children and their parents/guardians understand the importance and enjoyment of incorporating regular daily physical activity in ways that suit their personal beliefs and needs.
Sedentary Behaviour
  • Mental Health Literacy (formerly provides a Healthy Sleeping [PDF] resource sheet can be given to adolescents and teens to find tips for a good night's sleep.