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Page updated: 10 September 2013

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Updated: 10 September 2013

3. The Framework


Section three of Active Living for All: A Framework for Physical Activity in Western Australia 2012 - 2016.

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3.1 About the Framework

Active Living for All provides a strategic framework for physical activity for the next five years. The intention of the framework is to give direction for all sectors and settings to enable the implementation of a shared vision for increasing the physical activity levels of Western Australians.

The framework provides an integrated and coordinated response to deliver a whole of government and whole of community approach in tackling physical inactivity. It sets outs the key objectives and strategies in activating people and places.

The framework was developed in accordance with the following principles:

  • Focuses on the development of increased participation in physical activity throughout Western Australia.
  • Is integral to the work of other sectors e.g. planning, transport, health, education, and sport and recreation.
  • Acknowledges a variety of existing strategies and plans which are delivered in an integrated way.
  • Is responsive to national agendas around physical activity and health.
  • Provides an overall direction for increasing physical activity and secures and aligns stakeholder commitment to that direction.
  • Gives direction and support to the delivery of implementation plans of stakeholders.
  • Is evidence based where possible and evaluated to contribute to the active living agenda.

    The overarching aim of the framework is to increase physical activity levels and improve opportunities for all Western Australians to participate in all forms of physical activity. The vision for Western Australia is to be the most active state in Australia. The mission is to increase active living opportunities for all Western Australians to improve the overall health, wellbeing and quality of life of individuals, families and communities.

    The WA Government is a signatory to the Council of Australian Governments National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health (NPAPH). Specific performance benchmarks have been included within the NPAPH, which includes a 15% increase, from 2009, in the proportion of children and adults meeting the national physical activity guidelines by 2015. While WA Health is leading the implementation of the NPAPH, all WA government departments have a role to play in the partnership to achieve this ambitious target.

    Active Living for All will adopt and contribute to the attainment of that target as the State Government’s physical activity target.  An evaluation and monitoring framework is being developed to accompany Active Living for All that will assist in the monitoring and reporting of progress towards the achievement of this target.

    The framework also responds to the five priorities for change identified in the diagnosis of physical activity in WA and that underpin the development of Active Living for All. These priorities are to:

    • Strengthen public policy
    • Provide appropriate environments and programs (active places and active people)
    • Increase public motivation and understanding
    • Promote partnerships
    • Increase research into practice.

    Physical Activity Framework Content

    Why What Who How

    Active communities benefit everyone:

    • Economic – lower health costs and  improved workplace productivity
    • Environmental – reduced vehicle dependence resulting in decreased traffic congestion, noise and air pollution
    • Health – happier, healthier individuals with reduced risk of chronic diseases, overweight and obesity
    • Social – greater social interaction, supporting a sense of place and connectedness to the community.
    The two key outcomes of Active Living for All:
    • Active Places
      Provide well planned and designed environments that support, encourage and enable active living.
    • Active People
      Provide initiatives that promote positive behaviour change and opportunities to participate in active lifestyles.

    No single organisation can increase physical activity on its own. A collective approach is required by:

    • State Government
    • Local Government
    • Non Government’
    • Private sector
    • Health care
    • Planners, developers and urban designers
    • Academia and tertiary education
    • Advertising and media
    • Communities

      Five key priorities have been identified to move the active living agenda forward and create change:

      1. To strengthen public policy
      2. To provide appropriate environments and programs (active places and active people)
      3. To increase public motivation and understanding
      4. To promote partnerships
      5. To increase research into practice.

      3.2 The Outcomes

      Active Places

      Well planned and designed environments that support, encourage and enable active living.

      Key Objectives

      • Planning and Design - Ensure the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities is central to all planning and design decisions.
      • Policy - Embed active living principles in policy and legislation that supports compact, connected and conducive environments.
      • Compact Developments - Provide access to local services, facilities and amenities through mixed land-use and intensity.
      • Connected Communities - Design well connected streets and neighbourhoods providing direct and quality routes. 
      • Conducive Environments - Provide multi-functional public open space and adequate infrastructure.  
      • Integrated Transport Planning - Develop safe and quality environments for  walking and cycling.

          Key Strategies 

          • Early planning of key neighbourhood destination points e.g. shops and services 
          • Access to local amenities, services and facilities
          • Convenient location of community facilities
          • Availability of accessible and adequate public transport
          • Prioritisation of pedestrians and cyclists over motorists 
          • Provision of shared use paths
          • Connected street networks
          • Adequate pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and end of trip facilities
          • Adequate and multi-functional public open space
          • Aesthetic design of street-scape and infrastructure
          • Management of traffic volume and speed
          • Safe road crossings 
          • Adoption of design out crime principles
          • Community consultation and engagement
          • Responsible use and access to the natural environment
          • Application of disability access and inclusion plans for developments and facilities. 

          Headline Indicators*

          • Prevalence of incidental physical activity
          • Facilities/infrastructure used to be active
          • Proportion undertaking walking/cycling trips
          • Active commuting to local destinations 
          • Proportion of workplaces providing facilities to support physical activity
          •  Environmental supports for being active e.g. perceptions of neighbourhood.

          * Sourced from the Physical Activity Levels of Western Australian Adults Survey and Child and Adolescent Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey commissioned by the Physical Activity Taskforce.

          There is overwhelming evidence which demonstrates that the built environment impacts on the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities, and in particular, on their active lifestyle choices. Where we live, learn, work and play can directly affect participation in physical activity.20

          Research shows that active lifestyles can be encouraged by the design and location of streets, parks, recreational facilities, homes, schools, the workplace and retail areas.

          Well planned and designed neighbourhoods are critical to increasing physical activity levels by creating accessible and conducive environments that support and encourage active living opportunities.

          The aim of active places is to develop liveable, healthy and active communities through the provision of adequate, safe and accessible infrastructure, facilities and public open space for physical activity. Planning and developing active places requires an integrated and collaborative approach. Planners, urban designers, engineers, architects and developers all have a role to play in designing and building neighbourhoods that support and encourage active living. This needs to be done in partnership with other professions from sport and recreation, community development, and health.

          The key objectives and supporting strategies for action are provided for all sectors to work together to build active communities. The aims are to:

          • Increase residential density, intensity of land-use and active transport networks to support local businesses, employment, education, cultural and recreational opportunities and frequent accessible public transport.
          • Encourage groupings of key destination points within close proximity of each other to improve accessibility, integrated facilities and multiple uses of space and transport networks.
          • Manage vehicle traffic to provide safe environments for walking, cycling and other physical activities.
          • Provide an accessible, attractive and welcoming street environment, with well maintained paths for all users.
          • Create connected street networks that allow pedestrians and cyclists to take more direct routes to and from destinations and between neighbourhoods ensuring networks are interconnected.
          • Design and locate schools to facilitate young people’s active transport to school and physical activity while at school.
          • Design multi-purpose public open spaces that are functional and accessible and cater for the needs of children, adolescents, adults and seniors of all abilities.
          • Create communities where people feel safe in their homes, in the local streets and neighbourhood public spaces.
          • Design buildings that create opportunities for daily physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour through building functions, increasing stair use and provision of facilities such as changing rooms and showers.

          Active People

          Initiatives that promote positive behaviour change and opportunities to participate in active lifestyles.

          Key Objectives

          • Healthy Lifestyle Campaigns - Promote and reinforce the importance of active living messages.
          • Behaviour Change - Provide information, education and awareness raising strategies.
          • Prevention - Strengthen the role of primary health care in encouraging physical activity.
          • Policy Development - Embed active living principles into policy planning.
          • Programs - Ensure a diverse range of accessible and affordable opportunities in community settings.
          • Targeted Populations - Provide inclusive activities that cater for all ages, abilities and cultures.
          • Community Need - Undertake community profiling and ensure local need is reflected in all decision making.
          • Community Engagement - Consult with the community in the planning and programming of opportunities for active living.

            Key Strategies

            • Delivery of evidence based behaviour change programs
            • Campaigns incorporate active living messages
            • Accessible public information and education provision
            • Use of health impact assessment processes
            • Physical activity promotion in primary healthcare practices
            • Community profiling, consultation and engagement practices adopted
            • Programs tailored to targeted population groups
            • Diversity of activities considered
            • Adoption of ‘count me in’ disability principles
            • Affordable activities provided
            • Active play opportunities provided in early childhood and care settings 
            • Whole of school approaches adopted to implement school physical activity policy
            • Workplace physical activity policies and initiatives in place
            • Access to diverse local sport and recreation opportunities
            • Identification and promotion of community champions.

            Headline Indicators*

            • Prevalence of participation in physical activity
            • Readiness to be more physically active
            • Barriers and facilitators to active commuting
            • Types of activities engaged in
            • Awareness/comprehension of advertising messages
            • Pedometer steps
            • Proportion being physically active at their workplace
            • Prevalence of active commuting
            • Amount of time spent in sedentary behaviour
            • Body size

            * Sourced from the Physical Activity Levels of Western Australian Adults Survey and Child and Adolescent Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey commissioned by the Physical Activity Taskforce.

            The delivery of accessible, affordable and inclusive programs promotes community cohesion, builds capacity and improves overall wellbeing.

            Active communities are social communities that encourage participation in a range of activities and events that support active living.

            Programs should also be supported by health promotion that encourages positive behaviour change through relevant information, communication and education.

            An informed community provides the opportunity for individuals to make healthy lifestyle choices through raising awareness of the importance of physical activity.

            The delivery of opportunities within specific settings to activate communities through supporting and encouraging targeted initiatives and programs for specific population groups is critical in reducing levels of physical inactivity.

            These settings include child care centres, schools, workplaces, and sport and recreation facilities and clubs in communities that directly influence and increase levels of physical activity.

            The aim of active people is to promote the benefits of physical activity and encourage participation in active lifestyles through specific campaigns and programs that directly influence and support behaviour change and health outcomes.

            Increasing the number of active people requires a coordinated response from a range of professions. The provision of information and delivery of programs is fundamental in motivating and supporting people to be physical active.

            Communicating the benefits of physical activity and tailoring programs to meet the needs of  ‘at-risk’ groups is key to tackling physical inactivity and in improving the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

            The key objectives and strategies for action are provided to ensure that programs and initiatives:

            • are evidence based
            • meet local need
            • are accessible and affordable
            • support behaviour change
            • complement existing information and service provision.

            Proceed to Section 4 - Applying the Framework

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            20 Giles-Corti B, Kelty S, Zubrick S and Villanueva K (2009). How important is the built environment? Centre for the Built Environment and Health, UWA, Centre for Developmental Health, Curtin University and Telethon Institute.