Daily Physical Activity (DPA) Framework for Kindergarten to Grade 12 Wellness Education

Organization Sponsor: Alberta Education


Program Description

Alberta Education is committed to helping students develop positive daily physical activity habits and recognizes the contribution of teachers, schools and school authorities in implementing the Daily Physical Activity initiative. Already, this initiative has shown positive results and will continue to make a notable contribution to the health and well-being of our students and to all citizens of our province.

The goal of Daily Physical Activity (DPA) is to increase students' physical activity levels. DPA is based on the belief that healthy students are better able to learn and that school communities provide supportive environments for students to develop positive habits needed for a healthy, active lifestyle.

School authorities shall ensure that all students in grades 1 to 9 are physically active for a minimum of 30 minutes daily through activities that are organized by the school.

Guiding Principles
Schools have the responsibility of creating and nurturing a learning environment for students that supports the development of the lifelong habit of daily physical activity and that supports healthy lifestyles.

Daily physical activities should:

vary in form and intensity
take into account each student's ability
consider resources available within the school and the larger community
allow for student choice.

School authorities have the flexibility to use instructional and/or non-instructional hours to implement DPA.

Physical education classes are an appropriate strategy to meet the DPA requirement.
DPA should be offered in as large a block of time as possible but can be offered in time segments adding up to the minimum 30 minutes per day; e.g., two 15-minute blocks of time for a total of 30 minutes.
DPA can be incorporated throughout the day and integrated into other subject areas.

Program Approximate Cost: 

Approximatel y $1.2 million per year to school authorities to support the implementation of DPA at t

Funding Sources: 

Alberta Government

Strategies For Sustainability: 

The Government of Alberta is committed to enhancing the health and wellness of the children and youth of Alberta. In September 2005, Alberta Education implemented a requirement of 30 minutes of Daily Physical Activity (DPA) for all students in grades 1 to 9 based on the belief that healthy students are better able to learn and that school communities should provide
supportive environments for students to develop positive habits needed for a healthy, active lifestyle. Alberta Education’s DPA Initiative supports the Healthy Alberta School Communities (HASC) strategy, a joint initiative between Alberta Education and Alberta Health and Wellness.

Impact Of Program: 

The majority of respondents agreed that:
•students are satisfied with the DPA opportunities provided to them.
•DPA has a positive impact on student learning
•DPA has contributed to student wellness
•DPA is considered a positive initiative and a priority in their school
•DPA has made a positive impact on the school environment.

Evaluation Tools: 

The Daily Physical Activity Survey. The intent of the DPA Survey was to gather school-level information from teachers and principals regarding their perceptions of DPA, thus providing a greater understanding of DPA
implementation in grades 1 to 9. This study aimed to help identify the many variables that influence the attainment of the DPA outcomes and provide an opportunity for feedback on promising practices and challenges associated with the implementation of the DPA Initiative.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

To support implementation of the DPA Initiative, Alberta Education has produced resources in English and French, including: 2007 Objective Measures of Physical Activity Levels of Alberta Children and Youth 2006
Creating a Desire to Participate (video)
Daily Physical Activity for Children and Youth: A Review and Synthesis of the Literature Daily Physical Activity: A Handbook for Grades 1–9 Schools.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Respondents were asked to provide additional comments. Of these, 31%indicated that DPA is a positive initiative, 27% indicated concern about lack
of time, 26% pointed out the lack of facilities, and also 15% indicated that for DPA to be successful parents must be supportive and take responsibility for
their children’s health. Principals and teachers indicated the biggest challenges to DPA implementation are associated with scheduling and lack of facilities and/or space.

Length and Stage of Project: 



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