Families challenged to be active

An organizaton called ParticipACTION wants Canadians to move more for the good of our physical and mental health

Families challenged to be active

Photo credit: Getty Images

ParticipACTION — the national non-profit organization whose mission is to help Canadians sit less and move more — wants Canadian families to get up, get outside, and get active this winter with its new True North Challenge.

Available through the ParticipACTION app, the challenge, which runs from January 18 to 31,  aims to motivate families and friends to increase the amount of time they move, in a fun and inspiring way.


For both adults and children, getting up and moving can do wonders for our physical and mental health, especially during these challenging times as people struggle with increased anxiety and stress brought on by the pandemic. According to the 2020 ParticipACTION Report Cards on Physical Activity, even before COVID-19, Canadian children received a grade of D+ for overall physical activity and a grade of F for both active play and 24-hour movement behaviours. Only 39 per cent of 5- to 17-year-olds in Canada met the physical activity recommendations within the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth. Adults didn’t fare much better, with only 16 per cent of adults 18 to 79 years living in Canada meeting the recommended targets for physical activity.

So what can we do to increase our movement and overall health? Start small.

If you’re looking to start off 2021 by increasing healthy activities, decreasing poor habits, and being more active as a family; create a team to inspire each other and maybe even win a prize. Sign yourself up on the Participation app, register your Google Fit, Fitbit, or Garmin fitness tracker (if you don’t have one you can also manually enter your minutes), and tap the True North Challenge button to create or join a team of 2-8 people. Then, start moving!

All movement counts; whether you walk down the street to pick up some milk, get your heart pumping while you cross-country ski, do a dance party in the basement, or take part in a snowball fight. Whatever your activity, you’ll be moving and grooving your way toward better health and great prizes.

With the app, you can also earn badges and ballots by tracking your minutes, reading articles, and watching videos; have a chance to win weekly, monthly, and quarterly prizes; and schedule seven-day challenges to start anytime you want.

Download the free app and get your team ready.