Supporting Physical Activity at School, Work and Play

move more move often tagline

Where people live, learn, work and play can have a large influence on their level of physical activity. The environment and things in it can either put up barriers to being active or can help make it easier to be active. This can influence how well we learn and how productive we are at work.

Programs for schools

Playground Activity Leaders in Schools (PALS)

PALS is a playground leadership program. It encourages children to participate in playground activities at recess regardless of their gender, size or ability.

Both Waterloo Region school boards in partnership with Region of Waterloo Public Health offer the PALS program. Trained school staff supervise the program at their schools with trained student leaders from grades 4 - 7. They are responsible for planning and leading fun and safe activities on the school playground at recess or nutrition breaks.

Schools who run the PALS program have observed: 

  • Increased physical activity in participating children 
  • Decreased playground conflict and bullying
  • Increased leadership skills and self esteem in students through skill development in 
    • Leadership
    • Communication
    • Problem solving
    • Organization
    • Cooperation

For more information, please email 

Active & Safe Routes to School

Active and Safe Routes to School (ASRTS) is a program that promotes safe, walkable communities. Schools and community organizations work together to make walking and biking to school safer for all children.

For more information and resources, visit Active and Safe Routes to School in Waterloo Region. 

Programs for workplaces

Project Health

Project Health is an initiative which provides a variety of health promotion services to workplaces interested in improving and/or sustaining a healthy workplace in Waterloo Region. Physical activity is one of the most requested topic areas from local workplaces.


TravelWise is a Transportation Management Association (TMA) that provides workplaces who are TMA members with the tools and services to encourage employees to use active and sustainable transportation more often. For more information about TravelWise, visit the TravelWise website.

Community support for physical activity

Waterloo Region Active Living Network

Waterloo Region Active Living Network (WRALN) is committed to building a healthy community through all types of physical movement. They welcome organizations, government bodies, community groups and businesses interested in healthy lifestyles to join their network.

Physical Activity Charters

Physical activity charters provide an opportunity for people from different parts of the community to come together to promote and support physical activity in many different ways. They recognize the important role that physical activity plays not only for health, but for the environment, businesses, transportation systems and much more.

Waterloo Region Pedestrian Charter

The Pedestrian Charter is a set of principles about the value of walking. Municipalities with a Pedestrian Charter know that walking is important for health and the environment. The charter helps city and regional councils, staff, and citizens to think about how to encourage walking. It also calls for infrastructure and policies that support walking.

In 2005, the Region of Waterloo, the City of Kitchener and the City of Cambridge adopted the Pedestrian Charter and in 2008, the City of Waterloo adopted a customized version of the Pedestrian Charter.

Developing a national strategy for physical activity in Canada - Active 20/20

Active Canada 20/20: A Physical Activity Strategy and Change Agenda for Canada is the response of a broad cross-section of the physical activity community from across Canada who are concerned about health and quality of life, and who are committed to addressing the urgent national need to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary living.

It is designed to engage decision makers to rally the collaborative, coordinated and consistent efforts of all stakeholders at every level to make a difference for the well-being and sustainability of our social programs, our communities, our country, and, most importantly, our people.