Local governments have the power to build healthy choices into the fabric of their community.
Governments and city planners are in a unique position to influence healthy choices through priority setting, action planning, and community design. For example, they can ensure there are safe, healthy outdoor places for children to play actively; that free, clean drinking water is easily accessible for everyone; and that there are local facilities and services available that support families to be healthy.
Municipal leaders and staff also tend to have community connections across sectors which can help facilitate partnership-building and collaboration. By being a Live 5-2-1-0 champion, local governments lead by example and demonstrate their commitment to building a healthier community for all residents.
What can local governments do?
There are lots of opportunities for local governments to promote the 5-2-1-0 guidelines and support healthy behaviours in their setting and across the community.
- Post the Live 5-2-1-0 logo and information on the municipality’s website and social media and include it in public communications where appropriate
- Display the Live 5-2-1-0 message in government buildings (i.e. Live 5-2-1-0 posters, banners, fact sheets, weekly tips poster)
- Support the installation and maintenance of Live 5-2-1-0 Playboxes in community parks
- Ensure all facilities and parks have water fountains and/or water bottle filling stations
- Enact policies and bylaws that promote and support physical activity (e.g. safe routes for active transportation, access to safe spaces for active outdoor play)
- Enact policies and bylaws that promote and support healthy eating (e.g. conducting community food assessments, restricting unhealthy food and beverage marketing in all settings frequented by children)
How are partners in local governments using Live 5-2-1-0 resources?
The following is a list of examples of how different communities have used the Live 5-2-1-0 resources they have downloaded from this website:
- “My role is to support groups of neighbours in enhancing the quality of life in their neighbourhoods. The Playbox is an innovative idea that I want to know more about so I can share it with neighbourhood champions.” (Interior community)
- “We have an Active Communities grant we are initiating in our community and will be installing playboxes and engaging the community to build physical literacy and fundamental movement programs.” (Fraser Valley community)
- “Putting up in the preschool room at our Family Day event and Early Years Festival.” (Fraser Valley community)
- “We are creating a free resource guide for the Town of [Community Name] and surrounding communities that focuses on healthy eating and lifestyle for children and families with young children. Thanks for having these files available! We very much believe in the 5210 initiative.” (Vancouver Island community)
- “Our recreation department is in the beginning stages of adapting physical literacy and healthy living principles into our children’s rec programs. I have been familiar with Live 5-2-1-0 for a while and I thought it would be exceptionally relevant in my research.” (Vancouver Island community)
- “Will be using at Family Day when we launch our Healthy Vending machine initiative. This is our most immediate event.” (Vancouver Island community)
- “We are focusing our September health fair on these key messages: Increase exercise and fruit/veggies, decrease screen time and sugary drinks. We hope to plaster these posters and handouts around the whole room and have stations focussing on each message around the event.” (Northern community)
How are local governments supporting Live 5-2-1-0?
The following is a list of examples of how stakeholders in different communities have implemented action in their sector to support Live 5-2-1-0:
- The City of Surrey received funding through a Pacific Blue Cross grant to support their Live 5-2-1-0 projects and Community of Practice (CoP) – a collaborative group of agencies from their community that work together to promote Live 5-2-1-0 and healthy behaviors across all settings. They also developed a Nutrition Policy for all community recreation programs for children and youth, and redeveloped their cooking programs to emphasize food literacy and healthy food options.
- The Tri-Cities Healthy Living Group conducted Live 5-2-1-0 professional development workshops for their community partners; they also integrated the messaging into their “Unplug and Connect” campaign to promote less screen time.
- Abbotsford, one of the two Live 5-2-1-0 pilot communities, received support from their city’s Parks and Recreation department to install the first Live 5-2-1-0 Playboxes in three of their city parks. To date, over 20 other communities in B.C. have installed their own Live 5-2-1-0 Playboxes in their parks and outdoor spaces – view all the Playbox locations here.