The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies is a division of the Faculty of Health
Together we can build a healthy future
Committed to improving the quality of life for individuals and communities through innovative education and research activities, the Faculty of Health is a leader in the development of strategies that prevent disease and injury, protect and promote healthy living, optimize physical ability, and improve well-being across the life course.
Learning and research occur in settings ranging from classrooms, laboratories, and specialized research centres to partner organizations in the local and national community.
The Faculty is unique in Canada because it engages in population-based disease prevention research and plays a leadership role in national research networks that study population-based interventions to reduce diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
The Faculty of Health is very successful in translating research into practical programs that support health and wellness. These programs have had a profound effect on the lives of many people, including obese children, persons with dementia and their partners in care, the aging population, cardiac patients, and those battling cancer.
Please consider supporting one of the following priority projects:
Introducing a recreation and leisure program at a university level was a lengthy and complex process in 1968. Addressing the need to provide leadership to leisure studies in society and developing a program that combined knowledge of people, environment, and management and that prepared graduates for careers in a variety of public and private agencies required the strong commitment and dedication of passionate individuals who had a vision to make that dream a reality.
Jack Pearse, well known for his founding of Camp Tawingo, approached the Ministry of Education in 1968 and received approval to develop this innovative new degree program at the University of Waterloo. Pearse, along with Chuck Griffith and David Ng, played a transformational role in those early years, creating the internationally renowned Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies that has evolved to become one of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programs of its kind in Canada.
A special entrance award – the RLS Founders Entrance Scholarship – has been created in their honour and will help attract students to the department who have demonstrated strong academic performance and who have contributed to their community through recreation involvement and leadership.
UW's spirit of innovation continues to cultivate knowledge and ideas that have an impact on local, national, and international communities. Our graduate students contribute significantly to research that encompasses many areas — from public health to recreation management.
The Faculty of Health will use these donations to leverage provincial matching programs.
Canadian Index of Wellbeing
The Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) is an independent, non-partisan network located in the Faculty of Health at the University of Waterloo. The CIW is a robust information tool that provides a new way of measuring wellbeing that goes beyond narrow economic measures.
The Canadian Index of Wellbeing provides unique insights into the quality of life of Canadians – overall, and in specific areas that matter: our standard of living, our health, the quality of our environment, our education and skill levels, the way we use our time, the vitality of our communities, our participation in the democratic process, and the state of our leisure and culture. In short, the CIW is the only national index that will measure wellbeing in Canada across a wide spectrum of domains.
The CIW Network aspires to enable all Canadians to share in the highest wellbeing status by identifying, developing and publicizing statistical measures that offer clear, valid and regular reporting on progress toward wellbeing goals and outcomes Canadians seek as a nation.