Enabling active living

Active living is about moving more and integrating physical activity into daily routines.

Active living has a range of health benefits including helping to prevent chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight. Even small increases in physical activity and movement can have long term benefits for health and wellbeing.

Getting enough physical activity throughout life is important because it can help to prevent conditions like cognitive decline, osteoporosis and other chronic diseases in later years.

The ACT Government recognises that our local environments need to support people of all ages and abilities to be active.

While Canberra has many facilities that support active living, the city’s low density and dispersed nature means private vehicles are still the main form of transport.

The ACT Government continues to deliver initiatives and infrastructure that aim to make it easier for people to be active in their daily lives including through active travel (such as walking and cycling or using public transport) and participation in sport and recreation.

What we want to achieve

  • More adults and children using active modes of transport.
  • More people participating in sport and active recreation across all stages of life.

What is the ACT Government already doing in this area?

ACT Active Streets for Schools
The ACT Active Streets for Schools Program makes it safer and easier for children to ride or walk to school by delivering infrastructure improvements around schools and educational campaigns. It also places stencils on popular paths to promote walking and riding to school.

Infrastructure improvements around schools
The School Safety program works closely with schools, parents and the community to deliver infrastructure improvements around schools. Improvements focus on increasing safety and supporting students to walk and ride to school or use public transport.

Ride or walk to school program
The Ride or Walk to School program is a free ACT Government service for ACT schools. It provides access to Australian curriculum aligned resources to teach safe cycling, teacher training, and parent and carer engagement materials to help the whole school community embrace riding and walking to school.
It’s Your Move
It’s Your Move is a free initiative that provides high school students with an opportunity to develop creative solutions that improve school health. The award-winning Entrepreneurs: IYM curriculum sees students lead healthy change.
School crossing supervisors
The School Crossing Supervisor Program provides school crossing supervisors (lollipop people) to assist children to cross roads safely by directing traffic with a stop sign and providing instructions. They also help to manage the flow of pedestrians and motorists at the busiest crossings.
It’s Your Move Outdoor Environment Project
As part of the It’s Your Move Outdoor Environment Project, a new mountain bike track was constructed at Caroline Chisholm school which is also accessible to the community. This was the first of multiple proposed codesigned outdoor spaces. The next is an adventure-style nature playscape.
Active Travel Plan
The Active Travel Plan is being developed to enable more people to take up active travel. That means making it safer, more accessible, convenient and enjoyable to choose walking, cycling – whether for commuting, exercising or socialising.
Haig Park Place Plan
The Haig Park Place Plan aims to increase community connectedness, promote recreation and physical activity and conserve the historical significance of the park through introducing sustainable new amenities in Haig Park. The plan is in implementation and guides activation and events.
Female Friendly Change Room upgrades
The Female Friendly Change Room upgrades are being rolled out across Canberra to reduce the barriers women face when participating in sport and recreation.
Community Bike Repair Stations

The ACT Government has installed new bike repair stations in various locations around the city to support active travel by assisting cyclists to attend to minor repairs to their bikes.

Nature Play Grants program
The Nature Play Grants Program aims to provide financial assistance to eligible organisations for outcome-based projects, programs and initiatives to support participation in active lifestyles through the delivery of quality outdoor recreation, play and adventure programs and services for the benefit of all the Canberra community.
Kids at Play Active Play
Kids at Play Active Play builds capacity of ACT early childhood educators to increase confidence promoting active play and teaching fundamental movement skills to children aged 3 and up in early childhood settings. The program included an online professional learning course, in-person educator training and practical hands-on active play visits.
ACT Health Promotion Grants Program

Funding through the ACT Health Promotion Grants Program has supported projects that aim to enable active living such as the Woden School Stronger Us program. One aspect of this inclusive program is to provide students, staff, parents and carers with the knowledge and skills to increase physical activity.

Path renewal
As part of the Jobs for Canberrans initiative since 2020, ACT Government has increased inspection and assessment of the community path network to help identify locations for path renewal. The path renewal program is guiding the improvement of existing paths to keep them maintained and in good condition.