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Page updated: 13 April 2012

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Updated: 13 April 2012

Local Government and the Active Living for All Framework


The Active Living for All framework represents the strategic direction for increasing and improving opportunities for physical activity in Western Australia over the next five years (2012 - 2016).

Local government is a key partner in achieving the Active Living for All vision for "Western Australia to be the most active state in Australia". The framework aims to improve the overall health, wellbeing and quality of life of individuals, families and communities in Western Australia through increasing active living opportunities for all.

The key outcomes of the framework are the creation of active places and active people, of which local governments play a central role.

  • Active places are well planned and designed environments that support, encourage and enable active living.
  • Active people can be achieved through initiatives that promote positive behaviour change and opportunities to participate in active lifestyles.


About Active Living

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

The key principles for active living which local governments are encouraged to incorporate into all work plans are:

  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

What Local Governments Can Do

Local governments are encouraged to incorporate Active Living for All: Strategies for Action into their work, as outlined below:

  • Incorporate physical activity into the council’s strategic direction and all relevant operational areas
  • Adopt a whole of local government approach to physical activity – ensure it is integrated into existing planning and decision making processes
  • Understand the local community profile and engage the community in planning for active lifestyles reflecting need and ensuring intergenerational programming
  • Provide and promote policies and affordable programs that encourage physical activity within schools, workplaces and the community
  • Facilitate physical activity through good urban planning and design – adopt the national Healthy Spaces and Places planning guidelines* (WA version in development)
  • Work in partnership with developers to deliver on public open space and infrastructure requirements that support active living
  • Plan for mixed land-use – residential development, shops, employment, community and recreation facilities, parks and open spaces that meet the needs of the local community and encourage the use of shared facilities
  • Provide well lit suburbs with attractive parks and amenities and ensure access to multi-functional public open spaces
  • Ensure safe transportation and streets and consider street connectivity and ease of travel between households, schools, shops, public places and employment
  • Consider the attractiveness and quality of footpaths, availability of pedestrian crossings, traffic volume, speed and feelings of safety and security when planning developments and/or neighbourhoods
  • Ensure adequate and sustainable investment to provide active living opportunities for all.


Key Physical Activity Messages for Individuals and Families


Local governments can promote the following key messages, tips and ideas to encourage individuals and families to take personal action:

  • Be physically active every day in as many ways as you can and, if appropriate, do some vigorous  exercise* 
  • Adults – put together at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days** 
  • Use active transport where possible – walk, ride a bike, use public transport, take the stairs* 
  • Replace short car trips with walking, cycling or public transport 
  • Reduce the amount of time sitting still at home and in the workplace* 
  • Find out about local walking groups in your area 
  • Organise to walk regularly with friends or family to catch up 
  • Use your lunch break to do some activity 
  • Take a quick stretch or walk breaks during the day 
  • Volunteer in the community 
  • Encourage and support your child to be active 
  • Be a positive role model to your child with regards to physical activity and time spent using electronic media 
  • Turn off the tv/computer and get active with your child 
  • Participate in physical activity as a family 
  • Walk or cycle with your child to school or to their friend’s house 
  • Make sure physical activity is a part of your child’s daily routine** 
  • Enjoy a family bushwalk 
  • Join a local sport or recreation club.

* Sourced from the National Preventative Health Strategy
** Sourced from the National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australian

Local governments should also consider Key Policy Drivers when planning.


Related Resources

Active Living for All

Active Living for All

Launched on Thursday 15 December 2011, the Active Living for All framework represents the strategic direction for increasing and improving opportunities for physical activity in Western Australia (WA) over the next five years (2012 - 2016).

Liftout Summary

The Active Living for All: Liftout Summary is a quick reference guide (A3 size) that accompanies Active Living for All: A Framework for Physical Activity in Western Australia 2012 - 2016. The liftout outlines the vision, mission, priorities and strategies for action by sector (e.g. planning and health) and setting (e.g. school and the workplace) in activating people and places.

Resource type:Policy, Planning and Strategy Documents
Tags: , , , ,
Relevance: State
Year published: 2011