Earlier this week the Canadian Journal of Public Health published a commentary piece, “Active Canada 20/20: A Physical Activity Plan for Canada” that CSEP Manager, Mary Duggan, was an author on. The piece outlines the pressing need to address physical inactivity and a national plan with a road map to this on a national scale.
A pan-Canadian physical activity sector collectively developed Active Canada 20/20 with the support of ParticipACTION. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) is extremely pleased to have participated in developing the strategy and recommended actions to help Canadians of all ages to move more and reduce time sitting.
The release of this commentary piece comes at the heels of the Senate Committee report on Obesity in Canada: A Whole-of-Society Approach for a Healthier Canada which included a recommendation to propel Active Canada 20/20 into a formal, national physical activity plan. At CSEP we fully support this recommendation as it aligns directly with our aim to improve the health outcomes for Canadians.
Physical inactivity is a pressing public health concern. In this commentary we argue that Canada’s approach to increasing physical activity (PA) has been fragmented and has lacked coordination, funding and a strategic approach. We then describe a potential solution in Active Canada 20/20 (AC 20/20), which provides both a national plan and a commitment to action from non-government and public sectors with a view to engaging corporate Canada and the general public. It outlines a road map for initiating, coordinating and implementing proactive initiatives to address this prominent health risk factor. The identified actions are based on the best available evidence and have been endorsed by the majority of representatives in the relevant sectors. The next crucial steps are to engage all those involved in public health promotion, service provision and advocacy at the municipal, provincial and national levels in order to incorporate AC 20/20 principles into practice and planning and thus increase the PA level of every person in Canada. Further, governments, as well as the private, not-for-profit and philanthropic sectors, should demonstrate leadership and continue their efforts toward providing the substantial and sustained resources needed to recalibrate Canadians’ habitual PA patterns; this will ultimately improve the overall health of our citizens.
John C. Spence, Guy Faulkner, Christa Costas Bradstreet, Mary Duggan, Mark S. Tremblay. Active Canada 20/20: A physical activity plan for Canada. Can J Public Health 2015;106(8):e470–e473.