The face of emerging physical activity promotion initiatives across the country: Something for everyone, everywhere


Despite evidence-based physical activity recommendations, and overwhelming evidence that physical inactivity is linked to many chronic diseases only 15% of Canadians meet recommended physical activity levels and participation rates among special populations such as those with chronic conditions, the elderly and those with disabilities are even lower. The burden of inactivity in Canada is clear and implementing effective programs to promote physical activity is a public health priority. In light of this, researchers, exercise professionals, and increasingly health care providers have taken up this challenge, with innovative programs and initiatives across the country. This integrated symposium brings together experts in behaviour change, nutrition, and health care delivery to discuss the design, implementation and evaluation of emerging physical activity promotion programs across Canada including those at the regional, provincial and national level. Specifically, five separate physical activity promotion initiatives will be discussed including Exercise is Medicine Canada, Igniting Fitness Possibilities for youth with disabilities, Small Steps for Big Changes for those with prediabetes, Prescription to Get Active, and Healthy Eating and Active Living for Diabetes in Primary Care Networks. Initial evidence suggest that these action-oriented, community-based initiatives are making a difference for participating individuals and the health care professionals delivering the interventions including changes in perceptions and physical activity behaviours. These symposium presentations will highlight the ongoing evolution of the integration of physical activity promotion within the broader approach to health care including the successes and ongoing challenges with implementation of physical activity promotion programs for everyone, everywhere.