The Daily Physical Activity Initiative

The goal of Daily Physical Activity (DPA) is to increase students’ physical activity levels. DPA is based on the belief that healthy students are better able to learn and that school communities provide supportive environments for students to develop positive habits needed for a lifelong, healthy, active lifestyle. Daily Physical Activity: A Handbook for Grades 1–9 Schools supports the implementation of DPA.

Alberta Education’s Daily Physical Activity (DPA) Policy Statement

School authorities shall ensure that all students in Grades 1 to 9 are physically active for a minimum of 30 minutes per day through activities organized by the school.

Guiding Principles

Schools have the responsibility for creating and nurturing a learning environment for students that supports the development of the lifelong habit of daily physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.

Daily physical activities should:

  • vary in form and intensity
  • take into account each student’s ability
  • consider resources available within the school and the larger community
  • allow for student choice.


  1. School authorities have the flexibility to use instructional and/or non instructional hours to implement DPA.
    1. Physical education classes are an appropriate strategy to meet the DPA requirement.
    2. DPA should be offered in as large a block of time as possible, but can be offered in time segments adding up to the minimum 30 minutes per day;
      e.g., two fifteen minute blocks of time for a total of 30 minutes.
    3. DPA can be incorporated throughout the day and integrated into other subject areas.
  2. School authorities will monitor the implementation of DPA to ensure that all students are active for a minimum of 30 minutes daily.
  3. Exemptions from DPA may be granted by the principal under the following conditions:
    1. religious beliefs - upon written statement from the parent to the principal.
    2. medical reasons - certification to principal by a medical practitioner indicating in which activities the student is not able to participate.