Physical activity

25 January 2021

Measures to Reduce Sedentary Behaviour and Encourage Physical Activity in Persons 65 And Older Living at Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

To prevent deterioration in physical and mental health and cognitive function that could prejudice the autonomy and independence of persons 65 and older, it is important for them to adopt a physically active lifestyle.

To mitigate the impact of public health measures on physical activity, additional strategies are proposed for the public health network, its partners, and municipalities.

  • For the public health network and its partners:
  • Raise awareness of the importance of being active at home and promote regular physical activity to foster wellness and quality of life and help maintain independence (1–7) and good mental health (8) (e.g., targeted campaigns promoting physical activity, promotion of physical activities all year long).
  • Encourage the reduction of extended sedentary behaviours and of their total duration (e.g., active breaks, walking, housekeeping activities).
  • Support the regular practice of simp…
29 September 2015

Being active to stay fit ... mentally!

Mental health promotion and common mental disorder prevention interventions may apply several well-recognized strategies. Noteworthy among them are strategies that foster the development of public policies and the creation of supportive environments for mental health, that strengthen community action and that support the acquisition of personal skills. These interventions can be global, focusing on several key determinants of mental health, or they can be specific, focusing on only one of these elements; they can also address the population as a whole, a specific age group, or a vulnerable sub-group. Encouraging physical activity is one mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention strategy among many others and can use the various strategies mentioned.

The development of interventions and programs that rely on physical activity to promote mental health and prevent common mental disorders must take into account the main findings and recommendations that are in the l…

11 March 2014

The Built Environment and Physical Activity: Data Collection Tools to Support Intervention

Physical activity and sedentary living are important public health issues. Several studies have revealed links between various features of the built environment and physical activity. In order to develop a profile, better understand the impacts of built environment features, and better direct interventions on the creation of built environments that are conducive to physical activity, using the best information available is essential. The aim of this TOPO is to outline the main methods for collecting this information. Special attention is given to the data collection tools recently developed by the Québec public health network.

In this issue

  • A reminder of the links between the built environment and physical activity
  • Methods for defining the built environment and supporting public health stakeholders
  • And answers to the following questions :
    • What data collection methods can be used to characterize the built environment in an interventio…
25 February 2014

The sociocultural environment and lifestyle habits of adolescents: A better understanding for action

In early adolescence, young people adopt lifestyle habits that could play a determining role in their future health. At this early age, they begin to develop their independence, while continuing to be influenced by their sociocultural environment. Sociocultural factors have an impact on eating habits and physical activity, and this is even more true in adolescence when youth are in the process of learning and experimenting.

The results of the Ados 12-14 study (see box, page 3) show that the promotion of healthy lifestyle habits among young Québec adolescents should take into account the influence of family and peers, as well as youth's perceptions of contradictory messages concerning lifestyle habits.

9 October 2013

Safety of Elementary School Students Walking or Bicycling Between Home and School in Québec: Summary

This summary presents recommendations made by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec to foster safe active transportation between home and school among elementary school students. It is based on a review of the scientific literature.

25 July 2012

Urban Traffic Calming and Active Transportation: Effects and Implications for Practice

This summary is the fourth in a series of five short documents based on a literature review published in 2011. In what follows, we first present the mechanisms of action underlying traffic-calming strategies, as these mechanisms help explain and predict the effects of such strategies on active transportation (cycling, walking, etc.). Next, we summarize the results of studies having evaluated two approaches to traffic calming. Lastly, we consider the implications of such results for public health.

25 July 2011

Built Environment and Physical Activity Among Young People

The built environment, composed of all the buildings, spaces, and products that have been created or modified by people, has undeniably an impact on our health and quality of life. This first issue of the TOPO collection documents, in a nutshell, the relation between the built environment and physical activity amoung young people. It addresses the following questions: "What opportunities provided by the built environment promote physical activity by young people?", "What characteristics of the built environment promote a physically active lifestyle among young people?", "What interventions addressing the built environment have been already implemented in Québec and elsewhere in the world?". The TOPO collection is produced by the multidisciplinary team on nutrition, physical activity, and weight-related problems prevention (Nutrition, activité physique et prévention des problèmes reliés au poids) at the Institut national de santé publique du Québec.


20 September 2010

The Impact of the Built Environment on Physical Activity, Diet, and Body Weight: Summary

The built environment has an influence on lifestyle and body weight

Physical activity is promoted through:

  • More walkable neighbourhoods
  • The presence of sidewalks, walking paths, and bike paths
  • A substantial presence of recreational and sports infrastructure including parks, pools, playgrounds, and sports clubs.

Healthy eating is promoted through:

  • Having easy access to food retailers that are located close to homes and that offer healthy foods at affordable prices.

The environment as the target of healthy public policy

Several health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), and Kino-Québec have identified the built environment as one of the targets for significant action to address weight-related problems in our societies and recommend:

  • Promoting active transportati…
21 December 2009

Geographical Indicators of the Built Environment and Services Environment Influencing Physical Activity, Diet and Body Weight

Background and Objective
Over the past few years, excess weight has become one of the most troubling public health problems. Globally, organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) have described the current situation as epidemic. Factors that can explain this trend are linked to complex interactions between individual characteristics and environmental aspects. The built environment and the services environment are elements that can influence individuals' behaviours, lifestyle habits and body weight. The main objective of this document is to analyze and present various indicators of the built environment and of the services environment. These indicators are constructed from a geographic information system and used in ecological studies that look at issues related to diet, physical activity and body weight.

We conducted a literature review of 56 studies, published between 2003 and 2009, using indicators develop…

21 August 2008

Cree Health Survey 2003, Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.1, Iiyiyiu Aschi : Food habits, physical activity and body weight

The survey was conducted during the summer of 2003 using a representative sample of residents aged 12 and older from the nine communities in Iiyiyiu Aschii: Chisasibi, Eastmain, Mistissini, Nemaska, Oujé- Bougoumou, Waskaganish, Waswanipi, Wemindji, and Whapmagoostui.

Food habits

  • There is a relatively low proportion (21%) of residents 12 and over who eat fruits and vegetables at least 5 times a day, compared to 51% for the rest of Quebec. Furthermore, the consumption of fruits and vegetables decreases with age, among both men and women.
  • A rather high percentage of adults (18 and over) reported selecting or avoiding specific foods based on health concerns or nutritional value.
  • Furthermore, as noted among other populations, dietary choices tend to be based primarily on health concerns as Iiyiyiu Aschii residents get older.
  • A great many people were concerned with losing weight.
  • Slightly more than a quarter of the Iiyiyiu Asch…