Promotion of Physical Activity in Rural, Remote, and Northern Settings: A Canadian Call to Action.

Studies of the impact of regular physical activity have been extensive in the past. However, the promotion of these activities has been directed towards urban regions. This study investigated the accessibility and practice of physical activity in non-urban—rural, remote, and northern—settings. A “synopses of syntheses” was used to assess the state of public health by retrieving the results from 36 review articles. The authors also conducted a priority-setting conference with experts to discuss the state of physical activity levels in rural and remote/northern settings.

Results from the study identified environmental, cultural, and social barriers to physical activities in non-urban regions. Experts at the conference helped identify priorities of rural, remote, and northern settings. These were used as evidence to create a Canadian call to action on promoting physical activity in these regions. This call to action will also implement both culturally relevant and anti-oppressive practices. It was evident that there is a significant lack of research, policy, and practice of physical activity in non-urban regions compared to urban settings. There will be a follow-up priority-setting conference to analyze and begin implementing the call to action.

This paper was written by Candace Nykiforuk, Kayla Atkey, Sara Brown, Wayne Caldwell, Tracey Galloway, Jason Gilliland (HEAL Director), Krystyna Kongats, Jonathan McGavock, and Kim Raine.

The study was funded by Health Canada through the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s (CPAC) Coalitions Linking Action & Science for Prevention (CLASP) initiative. The authors would like to acknowledge the Association pour la Santé Publique du Québec for their insights and help with the priority-setting conference.


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