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About the Project

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In 2008, the Alberta Centre for Active Living received funding from Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation and the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks & Wildlife Foundation to complete a project called Physical Activity for All: Understanding Inclusion. The project identifies and examines the challenges that prevent people from being more physically active and the supports that encourage an active lifestyle.


Some people are more likely to participate in physical activity than others. We wanted to learn why this discrepancy exists and what can be done about it. Some of the questions the study answers are:

  • Why are some groups less likely to be physically active?
  • What types of supports are in place to support these groups to become physically active?
  • How can current practices and policies related to physical activity be modified to promote physical activity for all?


Five community groups were identified as being at risk for inactivity:

  • People from rural areas
  • Aboriginal peoples
  • Newcomers to Canada
  • Older adults
  • People with limited mobility


We conducted two sets of focus groups throughout Alberta. In the first set of 12 focus groups, we met with members of the groups that we had identified as less likely to be physically active. In the second set of 12 focus groups, we met with practitioners who work with these groups. Practitioners included front-line health care providers, social workers, recreation staff, and health promotion workers.

This project used an ecological approach, encouraging focus group participants to discuss challenges and supports affecting their participation in physical activity from a variety of perspectives, such as personal, cultural, social, environmental, and organizational.


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