WS 2.4: Promoting physical activity in rural and remote Canada: an evidence and action workshop

Workshop provider(s):

C.I.J. Nykiforuk*, L. Nieuwendyk, K. Raine, K. Atkey
University of Alberta, Canada

Workshop description:

The lack of policy, practice, and research action on physical activity and features of the physical (built and natural) environments in rural and remote settings is a significant threat to population health equity in Canada. According to Statistics Canada1, approximately 20% of Canadians live outside of urban areas (ranging from 14-53% across provinces/territories). this workshop has two aims that will focus participants’ attention on this important issue. First, we will present a synthesis of current evidence on physical activity promotion in non-urban settings in Canada along with a preliminary call to action to support the implementation and success of population-level and/or environmental initiatives targeting physical activity. The call to action resulted from a collaborative priority setting conference held in November 2015 with 28 Canadian experts from policy, research, and practice arenas to develop a set of priorities for research, policy, and practice to advance physical activity promotion in rural and remote Canada. Second, we will engage participants in a series of facilitated activities to enhance their knowledge of this issue while also drawing on their expertise toward collective action for enhancing physical activity opportunities in rural and remote communities. Coordinated action across policy, practice, and research domains will be essential to the equitable promotion of physical activity across community types.

Learning Objectives

1. Understand the great heterogeneity of Canadian communities characterized as rural or remote.
2. Identify circumstances, conditions, and resources specific to physical activity promotion across rural and remote communities in Canada.
3. Discuss facilitators and barriers to equitable physical activity participation among residents of rural and remote communities.
4. Prioritize actions for research, practice, and policy to enhance physical activity promotion in rural and remote communities.

Interactive Features

Throughout the brief ‘setting the stage/background’ presentation (20 minutes), participants will be asked to use e-polling techniques and audience Q&A to indicate their experiences with, perceptions of, and level of agreement with various issues related to the circumstances, conditions, and resources of physical activity promotion in rural and remote communities. Then, participants will be asked to form small working groups of 4-6 people. Groups will be asked to identify, discuss, and contextualize facilitators and barriers to equitable physical activity participation among residents of rural and remote communities (30 minutes) and report back to the room (10 minutes). In the culminating activity, the groups will be presented with the ‘call to action’ priorities for each of research, policy, and practice domains for physical activity promotion in rural and remote communities. The groups will rank the priorities within and across domains, and to discuss the acceptability and viability of their top-ranked priorities (30 minutes).

References

1. Statistics Canada, 2011. Population, urban and rural, by province and territory (Canada). Accessed at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/demo62a-eng.htm

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