Vancouver (British Columbia) and Toronto (Ontario), June 21st, 2023
Canadians and their communities have surpassed the Let's Move Canada Challenge, a collaborative initiative led by the Canadian Health and Fitness Institute (CHFI), the Indigenous Physical Activity & Cultural Circle (IPACC), the Indigenous Health & Physical Activity Program at the University of British Columbia, (UBC), and Strava. Let’s Move Canada Challenge continues to gain momentum with participants collectively logging 400,000 hours of physical activity, according to John Weston, CHFI President.
“I confess the triumph has moved me from skeptic to believer, in the drive for Canadians to overcoming negative health trends to become the Fittest Nation on Earth by 2030,” said Weston, citing CHFI’s Mission.
The 243,042-hours goal was chosen as part of the #LetsMoveCanada Challenge, to link National Health and Fitness Day, June 3rd, to June 21st the conclusion of National Indigenous Physical Activity and Awareness Week (NIPAAW). #LetsMoveCanada was embraced by Canadians, organizations and Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Why 243,042? It’s the length in kilometres of Canada’s coastline! Canada has the longest coast in the world and we want to make Canada the fittest nation in the world.
CHFI hoped the Challenge would showcase its four-phase plan to overcome unhealthy trends with respect to sedentary behaviour, obesity, outdoors deprivation, cardio disease, diabetes, mental illness and unnecessary sickness care costs.
Canada ranked 45th for Active Transportation and 24th for Sedentary Behaviour in comparisons with other countries. Depending on the study, Canadians spend between $7 billion and $25 billion annually in health care costs relating to sedentary behaviour.
CHFI aims to improve Canadians’ physical, mental, and spiritual health, and emphasize the power of partnerships to achieve lofty health-related goals. Primary among these partners is the Indigenous Physical Activity and Cultural Circle, or IPACC. Other supporters include the Government of Canada through the Canadian Healthy Communities Initiative, TELUS, Google, LadySport, SierraSil and Mahony's Tavern.
“The enthusiastic support for the Let’s Move Canada Challenge from Canadians is truly motivating. Through The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative, encouraging people to have fun with physical activities like this helps build more inclusive communities and a higher quality of life for Canadians,” said the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.
“It has been a great honour to be part of such a successful campaign,” said Dr. Rosalin Miles, IPACC’s Executive Director and Founder. “When we bring communities together to be physically active on the land, we practice Indigenous ways of knowing to be healthy and well! The #LetsMoveCanada campaign celebrated National Indigenous Physical Activity Awareness Week (NIPAAW) from June 14th to June 21st. Our active spirits have been celebrated across our communities!"
“I am so honoured to be part of the CHFI and IPACC Let’s Move Canada Challenge,” added Dr. Darren Warburton, UBC. “We have engaged more than 24,000 participants and met our goal with a week left in our campaign. I am particularly proud of how this initiative incorporates Indigenous ways of being and doing for the health and wellbeing of all Canadians.”
“One of the things I have learned from our partnering with Indigenous leaders is to emphasize a strength-based approach rather than always to focus on our health deficits,” said Weston. “The #LetsMoveCanada Challenge makes us optimistic we really can turn the corner on negative health factors.”
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For more information, contact:
Canadian Health and Fitness Institute
Indigenous Physical Activity & Cultural Circle
Dr. Rosalin Miles
Nlha7kápmx and a member of Lytton First Nation
The Canadian Health and Fitness Institute inspires Active Citizenship to enhance the physical, mental, and spiritual health of all Canadians to Make Canada the Fittest Nation on Earth by December 31, 2030.About the Indigenous Physical Activity & Cultural Circle (IPACC)
The Indigenous Physical Activity and Cultural Circle (IPACC) is a network for First Nations, Métis and Inuit people whose vision is to establish and expand relationships between individuals engaged in physical activity by improving access to resources and promoting health and wellness opportunities.
The Indigenous Health & Physical Activity Program at UBC is dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples via healthy lifestyle behaviours. The Indigenous Health & Physical Activity Program has roots that began in the province of Alberta with the work of Drs. Warburton and Bredin, continuing with their work in 2000 at UBC.
Strava is an American internet service for tracking physical exercise which incorporates social network features and is mostly used for cycling and running using Global Positioning System data.