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Page updated: 14 December 2011

The Physical Activity Taskforce has ceased operation and this website is no longer updated.

Updated: 14 December 2011

Active Living Principles

Active Living Principles

Active living is a lifestyle choice where people incorporate physical activity into their daily routines – cycling to work or school, walking to the bus stop, playing with the kids, gardening, or catching up with friends for active fun. It also includes competing in a sport or participating in an activity class or pursuit for pleasure and fitness.

The aim is to build in at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily for adults, and 60 minutes for children.

Active living is supported by the places in which we live – through pedestrian and cycle paths, sport and recreation facilities, public open space, parks and town squares.

It is also supported by programs – such as healthy lifestyle campaigns, information, education and a broad range of initiatives that encourage participation in active lifestyles.

The Key Principles for Active Living:

  1. Physical activity can improve physical and mental health, overall quality of life and bears multiple economic, environmental and social outcomes.
  2. Everyone, regardless of age, gender, language, ethnicity, economic status or ability, should have accessible, safe, convenient and affordable choices for physical activity.
  3. Places should be designed to provide a variety of opportunities for physical activity and should accommodate a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
  4. Land development patterns should encourage mixed uses, compact design, and a variety of transport choices.
  5. Transport systems should support active transport options providing safe, convenient and affordable access to the home, workplace, school and community facilities and services.
  6. Parks and public open space, including trails, should be safe, accessible, be multi-functional and part of a transportation network that connects key destinations, such as the home, workplace, school, community facilities and services, and other places with high population density.
  7. Buildings should be designed and oriented to promote opportunities for active living and reduce sedentary behaviour.
  8. Local councils and other governing bodies should plan for ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration, promotion of facilities, behavioural supports, policies that embed the vision of active living, and routine maintenance that ensures continued safety, quality, functionality and attractiveness of the physical infrastructure.
  9. Community governing and planning processes should address the multiple impacts of the built environment and transport choices on residents' ability to be physically active.
  10. The community should be consulted in decision-making and planning opportunities for an active lifestyle.

These principles have been adapted from information provided by the Active Living Resource Center, United States of America