Healthy Schools: Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

Daily Physical Activity

Q. Does this mean that physical education classes are now only required to be 20 minutes in length?

A. No. Daily physical activity is not meant to replace health and physical education classes. However, p articipation in a physical education class that includes 20 minutes or more of sustained moderate to vigorous physical activity would meet their daily requirement. On days where no phys-ed class is scheduled, the school should provide other opportunities for at least 20 minutes of physical activity during the instructional day.

Q. How might teachers and principals engage parents in the implementation of daily physical activity?

A. Daily physical activity will provide new opportunities for parental engagement. Schools may choose to host parent sessions and provide ideas for daily physical activity at home. The school administrator's guide on daily physical activity will offer information on ways to communicate with parents. Principals may wish to engage the school council and develop a school-based action plan that would involve parents.

Q. Do you feel that 20 minutes of Daily Physical Activity is adequate?

A. Ontario's policy stresses that the daily physical activity sessions should be a minimum of 20 minutes of sustained moderate to vigorous activity during the instructional day. Ontario's policy supports Canada's Physical Activity Guides for Children and Youth.

Q. How does daily physical activity fit into the school day?

A. Allocating time for daily physical activity takes creative planning and coordination at the classroom, school and board levels. It will often be possible to integrate the 20 minutes of sustained physical activity into physical education classes. On days when this is not possible, or when there are no physical education classes, the 20 minutes of physical activity needs to be incorporated into regular instructional time. To do this, appropriate strategies could include integrating physical activity into other curriculum areas or taking an equal amount of time from each period during the day for physical activity.

The ministry has provided teachers, school administrators and school boards with resource guides to help them plan for and organize daily physical activity.