Go north improving health through physical activity

This project brings a Canadian-based world-class expert, Mark Tremblay, to Northern Ontario to disseminate his knowledge about the role of physical activity in improving health and quality of life.

 

Project Category:
Visits by world-leading researchers
Topic Area:
Health, North
Ministry Priority
(2011-2013):
Teaching and Learning
Project Lead(s):
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Brief Background:
This project brings a Canadian-based world-class expert, Mark Tremblay, to Northern Ontario to disseminate his knowledge about the role of physical activity in improving health and quality of life. The focus of his visit will be to promote physical activity and active living for students from Kindergarten to post-secondary settings, with the expectation it will more likely lead to lifelong healthy living.
Research Context:
Overwhelming evidence suggests that the health of Canadians in general, and particularly in children and youth, is in decline. In 2004, overweight and obese children and youth, ages 2 to 17, constituted 26% of the population, up from 15% of the population in 1978/79 (Shields, n.d.). This is a particular problem in the north, as the rates of obesity in children ages 12 to 19 in this part of Ontario are higher than those in the south (Ward, Sahai, Tilleczek, Fearn, Barnett, & Zimjowskyj, 2005). One of the best areas to assess and influence child and youth physical activity levels is in schools.
Knowledge Mobilization Activities:
This project is designed to mobilize knowledge through guest lectures, small group discussions, and meetings (both face-to-face and videoconference). This world- class expert will meet with various stakeholders to outline the importance of physical activity, and to determine ways to increase physical activity in schools and elsewhere. Data will be collected from all meetings and guest lectures will be videotaped. The meeting notes will be transcribed and trends identified . A toolkit will be developed from the information gathered in presentations, discussions, small group meetings, and focus groups about increasing physical activity levels in northern communities. Toolkits containing information gathered during Mark’s visit and other research in this area will be distributed to all partners.
Outcomes:
Dr. Tremblay’s visit will prompt a range of print and digital products, and media coverage across Northern Ontario. The purpose is to spread knowledge amongst educational and health promotion institutions about the importance of increasing physical activity and decreasing sedentary activity. Information from his presentations and from this field of research will be compiled in a practical toolkit, which will be distributed to all partners in project. This toolkit will be directed at teachers, principals, and parents and will contain suggestions for use with various groups.
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