Context Matters, Examining children’s perceived barriers to physical activity across varying Canadian environments

An important aspect of a child’s upbringing is being involved in physical activity (PA). However, every child does not get an equal opportunity to be able to do PA. This research helps provide insight into the decision-making related to physical inactivity trends in Canadian children and examining the socio-ecological factors that affect children’s perception of barriers to PA. The study used logistic regression models on 892 children to measure the relation between PA and perception of barriers. An urbanicity spectrum was employed to highlight the area particular needs of the Canadian children. The findings of the study showed girls to report the most barriers to PA at the intrapersonal level, reporting things like “no one to go with”. Whereas on the interpersonal level, mother of children who were employed reported the most barriers. Environmentally, children living in suburban, urban and rural areas reported to have the most barriers. The study suggested that by focusing on context specific needs related to children’s physical activity levels, there may be an opportunity to improve the efficiency of practice for changing activity behaviour.

This paper was written by HEALab researchers Leah Taylor (lead author), Dr. Andrew Clark (project coordinator), and Dr. Jason Gilliland (principal investigator and senior author).

The study was jointly-funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Additional funding was provided by the Children’s Health Research Institute and the Children’s Health Foundation.

The researchers would like thank the students, parents, teachers, principals, and research boards from all participating school boards. They would also like to acknowledge the dozens of research assistants from the Human Environments Analysis Laboratory who helped with the STEAM project.

“Context Matters: Examining children’s perceived barriers to physical activity across varying Canadian environments” is published in Health & Place journal.

Read the full article here:

Keywords: Physical Activity, Children, Canada, Socio-ecological model, Rural

Leave a Reply