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Healthy living

Browse creative ideas to encourage and promote healthy living.

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View the ideas submitted to Healthy living

The problem

Although traditional health care often focuses on care after someone is sick, healthy living – for example, eating well, exercising regularly, and not smoking – is one of the best ways to prevent health problems in the future.

We know that:

  • eating healthy can help protect you from heart disease and stroke, and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and some kinds of cancer
  • people who are physically active are less likely to develop heart disease and other chronic health problems
  • if you stop smoking, within 24 hours, your risk of heart attack starts to drop and within 5 years your risk of stroke is the same as someone who never smoked

Although we offer programs and supports to help people stay healthy, have introduced menu labelling to help people make informed and healthier food choices and are helping smokers quit, what new and creative ideas and technologies should we consider to help people stay healthy?

Who we're trying to help

While everyone can benefit from adopting healthy living, due to factors beyond their control there are groups in the province that may be more at risk for developing certain chronic diseases, such as, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and asthma. These groups include, people:

  • living on low incomes
  • in rural and remote communities
  • with mental health and addiction concerns
  • from certain racial backgrounds


We are looking for ideas that promote health for everyone and/or offer new ways of connecting with groups that have traditionally been hard to reach.

What we're doing/have done

Healthy living

We fund 36 Public Health Units (opens in a new window) across the province. They offer healthy living programs, mental health promotion and disease prevention information for members of their local communities.

Smoke-Free Ontario

In 2007, we launched Smoke-Free Ontario (opens in a new window) which combines programs, policies, laws and public education to help:

  • smokers quit
  • protect people from exposure to second-hand smoke
  • encourage young people to never start

Healthy kids

Through the Healthy Kids Community Challenge (opens in a new window) we give money, training and social marketing tools to 45 communities across the province, to run programs about healthy eating and being active for kids and their families. This program reaches 40% of Ontario’s population including Indigenous populations served by six Aboriginal Health Access Centres and Community Health Centres. 

We also offer free fruit and vegetables to elementary and middle school students in the districts of Algoma, Porcupine and Sudbury through the Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program. The program reaches over 190 schools and approximately 37,000 students every year.

We partner with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to help pay for the Student Nutrition Program (opens in a new window), which helps provide nutritious meals and snacks in schools. During the 2015-16 school year, the program served nearly 900,000 children and youth.

Menu labelling

We also introduced the Healthy Menu Choices Act (opens in a new window), which requires all food-service chains with 20 or more locations in Ontario, to post the number of calories in the food and drink items they sell.

Learn more

Learn more about:


242 ideas submitted to Healthy living


Support mental health

Honourable mention. While this idea was not ultimately selected, it has been shared with the appropriate Ministry for future consideration.

Mental health services in Ontario are woefully underfunded.

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Created on October 29, 2017 by Cadavericspasm.  2 comments

13 Questions (13Qs) - Public Health Suicide Prevention Initiative

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

Suicide is a major cause of premature and preventable death. It is estimated, that in 2009 alone, there were about 100,000 years of potential life lost to Canadians under the age of 75 as a result of suicides.

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Created on November 3, 2017 by PhJD.

Apply augmented reality to encourage people using stationary bike/treadmill for exercising in gym.

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

there is a big market on heath and wellness were leads to gyms as in Canada the outside weather is cold for more than half of the year.

Exercising on the stationary bike of treadmill is boring over time.

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Created on October 31, 2017 by teimoori.

Better Sleep for Teens Project

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

- Lack of Sleep in Adolescents
- Educating students on activities they do that prevent their ability to fall asleep.
- In class workshop (mandatory for students)

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Created on November 2, 2017 by Anna B.

Bring families together through fitness

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

I think that family bonding through fitness has its merits

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Created on October 26, 2017 by Pt_jod.  1 comment

C25k partnership program and health blogs

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

I recently completed the C25K program (couch to 5k running plan) and in my research, came across these UK NHS sponsored podcasts - https://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k

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Updated on October 24, 2017 by Roger.  2 comments

Educate public about healthy eating without packaged food. Cooking lessons. Reduce chronic illness.

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

Community events like cooking classes for young parents using healthy local food. Offer to young mothers for kids meals and healthy lunches. Home cooking lessons to adults who are trying to eat on a budget and don’t know how to cook.

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Created on November 3, 2017 by Terri Anne.

Free online/text/email counselling services for all aspects of wellbeing

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

Many people in Canada suffer from various health effects. However there may sometimes be too many different health care providers for an individual to constantly consult with. Other times there is no one for individuals to talk to.

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Updated on November 2, 2017 by Tracy_Magret.  1 comment

Game of healthy life

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

Create a free app or online game to educate people the importancy of living healthy.
1. Quests for the character to learn about health, healthy food and exercise thru talking to in-game people. In-game rewards for completing quests.

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Created on November 3, 2017 by Msyliu.

Health is Wealth - Holistic approach to health

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

Utilize local municipal, provincial and federal assets to promote healthy living.

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Created on October 27, 2017 by vyasdhaval.  1 comment

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